"We, as Pacific Voyagers, are on a journey, sailing to an island in the future and navigating by the values of our ancestral past. Our ancestors understood that the health of the oceans reflects the health of the people. When we truly acknowledge this insight, when we are aware of the extensive threats to the ocean, and when we care about the future of our children, the only logical step is to create a new vision, a sustainable sail plan based on values of interconnectedness, respect and stewardship."
Setareki Ledua is from Naividamu village, on Fulaga Island in the Lau archipelago.
The Lau chain of islands, made up of a few tiny islands in the far east of Fiji, almost halfway to Tonga, is the Fiji not often seen by tourists.
Setareki loves sailing among the Lau Islands, and now at 26 he has lost count of the places and ports he has sailed into while on board the Uto Ni Yalo. Mr Ledua joined the Uto Ni Yalo as a crew member when he was 19.
'It was in 2010 when I was sailing around the Suva Harbour on my camakau [outrigger canoe] when I saw the Uto Ni Yalo berthed at the harbour and I sailed up to her,’ he said. ‘Being a crew member of the Uto Ni Yalo is not just about sailing from one country to another, but also learning about who we really are as an indigenous people, as stewards of the earth and most importantly knowing more about our tradition and culture.'