About Stella Chiu-Freund

Stella was born in Manila, Philippines in 1965. She studied anthropology but ended up in advertising, producing radio and TV commercials for 7 years. After quitting advertising, she ventured into the freelance world in Manila producing video documentaries for a publishing house, government agencies, non govenmental organisations, and the academe. She moved on to producing books and had a stint at working with foreign production companies visiting Manila. Stella, now based in Cairns, produces photo stories with her husband Jürgen Freund.
  • A dive camp in Yadua Island with 20 to 30 divers going to out the Great Sea Reefs scuba diving for beche de mer or sea cucumbers.

Sea Cucumber Hunters of Fiji in the GSR

April 2013 – Kavewa Island, Nukusa Village, Yadua Island

Sea cucumber is a high value, high demand Chinese delicacy that is sought after by Chinese traders buying dried sea cucumbers from all over the world especially in Asia and the Pacific. Sea cucumbers are flexible, elongated echinoderms belonging to the class Holothuroidea.  They live on the sea floor in reefs, lagoons and coastal shallows […]

  • Turtle monitor Peter Qarau catches, tags, measures and releases a green se turtle along with 11 year old Irris and her mom Patricia Mallam of WWF South Pacific in Yadua Island

Yadua Turtle Monitoring and Irris

20 April 2013

Patricia Mallam WWF South Pacific Communications Manager brought her lovely 9 year old daughter Irris to rendezvous with us on Yadua Island – we, coming from Macuata Province and they, coming from Suva. They were joined by Pita Qarau, Turtle Monitor from Yadua Village in Suva and they all took the ferry from Viti Levu to Vanua […]

  • Cyclone Evan mercilessly went through Yadua Village and this leaning house is one of the casualties of the cetegory 5 cyclone.

Yadua Island and Cyclone Evan

19 – 22 April 2013

The 17th of December 2012 will forever be etched in the minds and hearts of Fijians and the memory is unfortunately not a good one. With a maximum wind speed of 270km/hour, Cyclone Evan devastated many villages from northeast Vanua Levu all the way to northwest Viti Levu with more than […]

  • Laitia Tamata of WWF South Pacific and Laitia of University of South Pacific downloads year-long data from the newly retrieved data logger that shows the temperature of the Great Sea Reefs for a year.

WWF and University of South Pacific at work in the Great Sea Reef

April 2013

Our visits to the Fijian villages and the one resort in Macuata Province were made the richer when we were able to document the fieldwork of WWF South Pacific Marine Species Coordinator Laitia Tamata, WWF Labasa staff Koli Musudroka and University of South Pacific Laisiasa Cavakiqali. They were visiting 5 sites in the target reef systems in […]

  • Nukubati Island Resort staff Noma Inai.

Nukubati Island – the Only Resort in Macuata Province’s Great Sea Reef

14 – 18 April 2013

Getting a WWF assignment to document the world’s third largest barrier reef, we needed to make sure we saw the Great Sea Reef from underwater. Nukubati Island Resort is the only resort in the Macuata Province of the GSR who offered diving as well as many other water related activities. Our trusty WWF […]

  • Patricia Mallam WWF South Pacific Communications Manager chats with Kia Island village teens.

Kia – The Remote Island Paradise of the Great Sea Reef

10 – 14 April 2013

It was a long 4 hour boat ride from Nukusa Village to Labasa Town where we stayed overnight before heading to Kia Island. We armed ourselves for the next stretch of island village living, quickly shopping for a million little things like Milo, laundry detergent, more mosquito repellent, mosquito coils, junk food and […]

  • Spear fisherman hunting reef fish in none marine protected areas of the Great Sea Reefs.

Udu Point – Freediving the Great Sea Reef

7 – 9 April 2013

The first time we saw the village of Nukusa from the boat, I thought how wonderfully situated it was. It is not a beachside village like the usual but one that is about 10 metres elevated from the sea. And then on second thought, I looked at all our luggage and […]

  • Massive fish catch caught the night before by 6 men spear fishing. Fish is for community first Sunday of the month lunch after church service.

Udu Point – First Sunday at the Farthest End of the Great Sea Reef

7 April 2013

Nukusa Village is the 4th to the last village from the tip of Vanua Levu. It is so remote that the villagers need to use up to 40 gallons of fuel for their fiberglass boat to get to the town of Labasa at Fiji$13/litre, spending more than F$400 one way. So most of […]

  • Children of Kavewa Island start a mangrove planting activity with freshly picked mangrove propagules.

Kavewa Island – Mangrove Reforestation and the Reefs

4 – 6 April 2013

A charming activity took the children of Kavewa by storm one overcast Saturday morning. All the school children from Kavewa Village had just come back home for the weekend from their boarding school in Drua Drua (another nearby island) when they were assigned to go pick as much propagules in the […]

  • Turtle rodeo catch, tag and release. Turtle monitor Emosi Time catching a big male green turtle.

Kavewa Island – Turtle Monitor

4 – 6 April 2013

Emosi Time, son of Kavewa Village chief is known as a Dau ni Vonu or Turtle Monitor. Emosi used to be a turtle hunter, catching turtles for turtle meat offered in traditional Fijian celebrations. Since 2011, Emosi has turned from the dark side and is now a guardian of turtles. Lifting text […]