A community in Fiji is funding university scholarships for local students by successfully managing Fiji's largest protected marine area.

Community groups and chiefs in Kubulau are working with the Wildlife Conservation Society to protect their fisheries by limiting the number of fish people are allowed to catch.

Because the area is well managed, it attracts divers who pay $30 a day to dive there.

Fiji director for the Wildlife Conservation Society, Dr Stacey Jupiter, told Radio Australia's the money is put to good use.

"That money all goes directly back to the communities and they use that to offset managment costs as well as pay for community development projects," she said.

"They have issued about 150 scholarships to youth from Kubulau to go to university just from these fees coming from divers."

Fish stocks in parts of Fiji are thriving due to the combination of traditional and scientific protection methods, with marine biologists seeing an increase in the size and number of fish over the past few years.

The district chiefs work with staff from the Wildlife Conservation Society to stop overfishing.

"So when the chiefs decide to make rules for the traditonal fisheries management area, for the most part there is large respect for their traditonal authority" she said.

"People obey those rules and reduce their fishing pressure in certain areas that the chiefs designate as no fishing zones."

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