Can Bonefishing Help Anaa Atoll?

The Anaa Atoll is a 15 square-mile dot in the Pacific Ocean some 220 miles east of Tahiti. Facing a sagging economy and a population eager to be somewhere else, a group of fly anglers, scientists, and policy experts came to the island to study if Anaa has what it takes to support a self-sustaining, community-led tropical flyfishing operation to support the local economy and help bring an increased level of sustainability to area waters and marine life. Along the way, the team encounters locals whose compelling stories bring Anaa’s problems into sharp and heartfelt focus.

Words: Joel Clement

A deep sleep in the lodge’s stilted bungalows comes to a halt. We’re familiar with rural alarm clocks, but Anaa’s version is a fierce and unforgiving battle between roosters and weighty iron church bells vying to outdo each other every half hour. It’s all for a good cause though, because within minutes we’ll be shuttled out to the flats in wooden boats that claim half their weight in coats of paint. We’ll march in knee-deep water for bonefish rumored to be bigger, swim faster and fight harder than those we have chased anywhere.

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The Flyfish Journal Volume 7 Issue 1 Feature Kio-Kio Economy

above The Anaa Atoll is comprised of 11 small islands surrounding a shallow lagoon. According to the last census, the island is home to just less than 500 people. Although the main village is the atoll’s hub, small huts and houses are tucked randomly around the atoll.


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