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Shark Week – Fiji: Shark Diving in murky waters (Watch Video)

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For Shark Week, Scubaverse bloggers CJ and Mike share this great video and their experiences of diving with Bull sharks and more in Fiji…

Murky waters are not what usually come to mind when thinking about diving in Fiji. Unfortunately, we had timed our visit straight after the typhoon in mid-April. Having reached Viti Levu after several days delay, it was only to find that conditions were still too bad on the south coast to do any diving for a couple of days; so we contented ourselves to enjoy the beautiful island and the locals’ fantastic hospitality.

One of the dives we were most looking forward to was the famous Beqa Lagoon shark dive at the Shark Reef Marine Reserve. Being very keen on shark conservation I was interested to see how this operation worked, how it involved local people in the marine reserve and how the proceeds from tourism helped with maintaining a protected area for sharks. Luckily for us the weather settled down after a few days and we were able to book in for a shark dive!

We chose to go with Beqa Adventure Divers and booked to do two shark dives in the morning and an afternoon soft coral dive. We were greeted on arrival by a friendly and efficient front desk team and completed all the necessary paperwork. We then went through to the gear rental and equipment set-up area to get ready to dive. Here we had our only negative experience of the trip, bumping into an extremely rude man, who turned out to be one of the owners! Thankfully our interaction was a brief one and as the rest of the staff possessed the manners and professionalism sadly lacking in their boss, we moved on and did not allow this incident to ruin our whole day.

Once kitted up, our equipment was loaded onto the boat and we met our crew. The boat briefing was very good and the dive briefing thorough, with clear and precise instructions given as to where to go, when, who to follow and how to behave. The divemaster gave us strict instructions on keeping all limbs and cameras to yourself and behind the purpose built walls. The dive plan was well thought out and explained, with the aid of a dive site map. At the site we were told the visibility was likely to be lower than pictures we may have seen and to stay close to the divemaster assigned to you. We were also given a quick shark ID summary and requested to count the sharks we saw by our boat’s marine biologist. With growing excitement we kitted up and jumped in!

Once in the water we descended with our DM and took up position in front of ‘The Arena’, behind a wall built of coral rubble at 30m. Once all the divers were positioned with DMs at either end and at various points behind us with big poles, the feed began! Another DM swam above us with a wheelie bin full of tuna heads, controlling the position and timing of the dropped food so that as the Bull sharks came in they would chomp up the fish just in front and above our heads, giving a magnificent view of these huge sharks in feeding mode. For 15 minutes huge Bull sharks swam all around us, feeding and cruising past, eyeballing the group. The experience was made all the more atmospheric by the low visibility – dark shadows emerging into oncoming sharks in what felt like the last few metres!

After 15mins at depth we moved up to the next level, 10m for an another 15 minutes, to view Grey, Whitetip and Blacktip Reef sharks, which were fed fish from a smaller container by a DM. The final part of the dive was really an extended safety stop at 5m, with around 10mins to enjoy the reef sharks and abundant fish life at the top of the reef before surfacing.

With everyone buzzing about the dive we were served hot drinks and cookies on the boat, while the marine biologist took data from us, about what sharks we had seen and how many we estimated there were of each species. Apparently today was a quiet day with ‘only’ 20+ Bull sharks (they can get up to 70+ on a busy day!). He then gave us a talk on the shark species we had seen, their behaviours, and some great information about the formation of the marine reserve and their continuing projects and data collection.

After a lengthy surface interval to off-gas, we headed back in at ‘The Take Out’ to do a 15m dive for 30mins and 5m for 10mins. Here we lay on slabs of rock behind a small wall and had some even closer Bull shark action. The DM behind me occasionally had to bop a shark on the snout if it continued towards us a bit too close, but the sharks seemed very used to the routine and interested only in having a snack of tuna head. The visibility was worse on this dive, adding to the drama, but also making we wish we could experience it again in clear water. After half an hour, which seemed like only minutes with all the stunning sharky action, we headed up to safety stop depth and once again enjoyed the Reef shark feeding.

I didn’t know how I would feel about the shark dive going in, but was prepared to give it a go and I knew I would love seeing sharks in close proximity. Having done the two dive morning, I am very impressed with the set up at B.A.D. Safety wise it is excellent as the very structured dive plan contributes to the high level of control the staff have at all times. The feeding was organised to allow everyone to get a good view and close up action with the sharks, and the high ratio of DMs to divers means the staff have total control of the group and the ability to turn away any shark that gets a little too curious without any drama. Having a multi-level dive also allows divers to see several different species of shark on one dive and extend the dive time.

The staff on the boats and in the water were all locals, all of whom were knowledgable, professional and exuded a calm on a boat full of very excited tourists. I was really impressed that they had a marine biologist on each boat to provide info, take data and answer questions. Also we were told that a portion of the money from tourism goes to local communities that have given up their fishing rights in order to create and maintain the marine reserve, which is great news and a good conservation strategy.

Sadly as the weather was worsening and the vis deteriorating, the afternoon dive was called off and so we packed our things and headed off for a good lunch, all that excitement certainly works up an appetite!

On the whole, we had a really good experience with the Fiji Shark Dive in Beqa Lagoon and would recommend it to anyone who wants to see Bull sharks up close. However if you want to do lots of diving and see some of Fiji’s other world class dive sites in all their glory, I would recommend paying high season rates and travelling to Fiji outside of the typhoon season!


For more from CJ and Mike please visit their website here.

CJ and Mike are dive instructors who have travelled all over the world pursuing their passion for the underwater world. CJ is a PADI MI and DSAT Trimix instructor with a degree in Conservation biology and ecology, who has been diving for 15 years. She loves looking for critters and pointing them out for Mike to photograph. Mike is a PADI MSDT who got back into diving in 2010. He enjoys practicing underwater photography and exploring new and exciting dive locales, occasionally with more than one tank. Follow more of their diving adventures at www.facebook.com/bimbleintheblue.

Marine Life & Conservation

The Shark Trust Great Shark Snapshot is back

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The last week of July will see the return of the Shark Trust’s citizen science initiative, The Great Shark Snapshot. It invites divers and snorkellers, all around the world, to record the sharks and rays that they see. This year it takes place between the 20th and 28th July.

The event is back for its 3rd year, and it is happening in “Shark Month”, more commonly known as July! To coincide with a series of events that celebrate all things shark and ray.

Divers, their clubs, dive centres, charter boats and liveaboards are all encouraged to show their support by organising dives and events through the week. As well as gathering vital data, the event will provide a chance to celebrate the incredible shark and ray species that live in our ocean.

Information about the species and numbers of sharks and rays the participants find over the week will be added to the Shark Trust’s Shark Log. This global shark census will, over time, allow shark scientists to build a picture of species distribution and any changes that occur

Caroline Robertson-Brown, Marketing Manager at the Shark Trust said “It is great to see this popular citizen science event back for its 3rd year. Whether you are diving your local dive site, or on a trip of a lifetime, we want divers to join in on the Great Shark Snapshot in July. I cannot wait to hear from the divers and dive organisations about the species of sharks and rays that they see. And where in the world they see them.”

It is easy to join in. Just go diving between 20th and 28th July and record every shark, ray and skate that you and your dive group sees. If possible, take photos and some video footage too. Then make sure that you record your sightings on the Shark Trust Shark Log recordings website or by using the Shark Trust app.

The Great Shark Snapshot is a way for divers to get together, go diving, and do something to help shark conservation. Why not dive in?

Find out more here: www.sharktrust.org/snapshot

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Dive into Luxury: Bunaken Oasis Seeks Seventh Consecutive World Travel Awards Win

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In the vibrant heart of Sulawesi, Indonesia, nestled among the pristine waters of Bunaken Marine Park, lies Bunaken Oasis Dive Resort. For the past six years, this remarkable resort has been recognised as “Indonesia’s Leading Dive Resort” by the World Travel Awards, and it is now in contention for an unprecedented seventh consecutive win.

A Beacon of Excellence

The World Travel Awards are often referred to as the “Oscars of the travel industry,” celebrating the very best in global tourism and hospitality. Winning this award is no small feat and speaks volumes about the exceptional quality and service that Bunaken Oasis consistently delivers. This accolade is a testament to the resort’s unwavering commitment to providing unparalleled guest experiences.

Vote for Bunaken Oasis Dive Resort Here

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What Sets Bunaken Oasis Apart?

Bunaken Oasis Dive Resort is celebrated not just for its luxurious amenities but also for the deep, genuine care it extends to its guests. The resort offers a unique blend of elegance and adventure, providing world-class diving experiences in one of the planet’s richest marine biodiversity hotspots.

world travel awards

The true magic of Bunaken Oasis lies in its people. The resort’s staff are renowned for their warmth, professionalism, and dedication. From personalised diving excursions to bespoke hospitality, every team member plays a crucial role in creating a welcoming and memorable atmosphere. Their passion for excellence and attention to detail are key reasons why guests return year after year.

Vote for Bunaken Oasis Dive Resort Here

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Show Your Support

As Bunaken Oasis Dive Resort vies for its seventh title, the support of its loyal guests and admirers becomes even more crucial. Voting for the World Travel Awards is an opportunity for fans of the resort to show their appreciation and help ensure that this gem continues to shine brightly on the world stage.

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How to Vote

Supporting Bunaken Oasis is simple and impactful. Click the link below to show your support and cast your vote for Bunaken Oasis Dive Resort as “Indonesia’s Leading Dive Resort” on the World Travel Awards website.

Vote for Bunaken Oasis Dive Resort Here

Looking Ahead

Winning this award for the seventh time would be a crowning achievement for Bunaken Oasis, solidifying its status as a premier destination for luxury diving and relaxation. But more than the award itself, it is the ongoing support and love from guests that fuels the resort’s continuous pursuit of excellence.

world travel awards

Whether you are an experienced diver or simply in search of a serene escape, Bunaken Oasis Dive Resort offers a sanctuary of beauty, tranquillity, and unparalleled service. Join us in celebrating this exceptional resort and help Bunaken Oasis secure its place as Indonesia’s leading dive resort for another year.

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Vote for Bunaken Oasis Dive Resort Here

For more information about Bunaken Oasis Dive Resort and to experience its magic first-hand, visit their official website.

Dive into luxury and adventure at Bunaken Oasis Dive Resort – where every moment is crafted to perfection.

Email: info@bunakenoasis.com / WhatsApp: +44 7785 576331 / WhatsApp: +62 812 4649 6763 

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