Volunteer opportunity for shark conservation in Fiji

Our friends at Projects Abroad have an opportunity to volunteer with their shark conservation program in Fiji. This is an awesome project and I can personally vouch for the fact that you will have the time of your life, doing something worthwhile. I had the privilege to go along on a tagging trip and it was a ton of fun.

This is their posting: This is truly the chance of a life time to work on pioneering shark protection projects alongside respected scientists and shark research experts.

This project is perfect for anyone with a passion for marine wildlife and the great outdoors. The Fiji Shark Conservation Project offers you the chance to get up close to some of the most endangered and mis-understood animals in the world. Volunteers are welcome on a gap year, a career break, for university research, or even as an opportunity to experience a very different way of life!

Diving with sharks

Working directly with the Fiji Shark Conservation Project, conducting the work of internationally renowned shark research scientists, volunteers will be directly involved in scientific shark research work, as well as actively working within the local community on mangrove reforestation, recycling and shark education initiatives. The volunteers and the conservation work are supervised by our resident marine biologist and local staff. We also work closely with other local and international marine conservation organisations, including the WWF Global Shark Programme.

The project is based in Pacific Harbour, on the south coast of Fiji’s main island of Viti Levu, just 3 hours from Nadi.


Volunteers do not need any previous diving or shark research experience to take part in the Fiji Conservation Project. However, volunteers need to be able to swim, be medically fit to scuba dive and have a good command of the English language to get the most out of the Shark Conservation project. This project is not available for people who do not want to take part in the diving.
Volunteers who have not dived before receive the PADI Open Water dive course during their first two weeks on the project. Volunteers with an existing dive certification equivalent to the PADI Open Water qualification receive the PADI Advanced course. After the dive course, volunteers will also receive the Project Aware Shark Conservation Diver Course. Those who already have the Advanced certification or higher will receive the Project Aware Shark Conservation Diver Course during their first week, and an extra Shark Feed Dive during their project time.

You can get all the information on this link: http://www.projects-abroad.co.uk/volunteer-projects/conservation-and-environment/shark-conservation/fiji/

This project is of course at the same location we go to dive with bull sharks in May. If you can’t volunteer for this project, maybe you want to come out diving with us and support Beqa Adventure Divers, the outfit who was responsible for creating the first underwater national park in Fiji.

Our trips are from May 9-17, 15-24 and 22-31. For more information call 619.887.4275, email us at staff@sharkdiver.com or visit us on the web here.

Let’s go to Fiji!

Cheers,
Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.

What is it like to come face to face with a Great White Shark?

Allan Davey and his son were part of our first Great White Shark expedition to Guadalupe Island this season. He has documented his experience in his blog, A Truly Great White Shark Adventure.

He writes:
 

“Gunther” nibbling on cage. Photo Allan Davey.

We had sharks visit on every session in the cage which apparently isn’t always the case. There was a lot more action on our trip then on previous trips. ( This has continued on trips after ours ). Two of the larger sharks exhibited unusual behaviour which prompted discussions amongst the crew. They were repeatedly gnawing on the cage and one would get under it and knock it from below. They weren’t trying to attack but they were being aggressive. At one point while one of the sharks was biting the cage, a tooth dislodged and started to flutter down. My cage mate went to grab it then realized what he was doing as he started to reach towards the gaping jaws and quickly and fortunately realized that would be unwise. Made for some great personal experiences but made me ponder what is happening to these sharks and their environment that might explain this behaviour. Then again our Dive Master Martin Graf said that as soon as you think you know something about white sharks they do something unexpected and everything goes out the window.

It was very unusual that during our first 2 trips, some sharks that have been around our cages for years, “Gunther” and “Drogin” were repeatedly nibbling on our cages. There was no food by the cages and they did it in slow motion, with their eyes open and not rolled back. I have never observed that kind of behavior before.

We also saw some great interaction between sea lions and sharks that Allan has documented with these awesome pictures.

Well, hello there! How are you today?

Hey, wanna go play?

You can read Allan’s blog here. Along with a lot of awesome pictures, he also has some great info and tips for photographers. Thanks Allen!

Here are some more samples of his pictures!

Check out the blue eyes!

If you would like to experience these shark up close and personal yourself, call us at 619.887.4275 or email staff@sharkdiver.com. You can find our expedition schedule at http://www.sharkdiver.com/dive-packages/great-white-shark-diving/

Let’s go shark diving!

Cheers,
Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.

Shark sightings good for business?

We always hear about “shark scares” in the media. In Western Australia, the government is conducting a highly controversial shark cull, mostly because of fear that sharks are bad for business.
shark diving, swimming with sharks is fun, cage diving, bull sharks
So I was quite surprise to see this headline Shark sightings off Cape Cod a boon for tourism

The East Valley Tribune writes In “Jaws,” the fictional mayor tried to protect the summer tourism season by keeping a lid on reports of the man-eater lurking offshore. As sightings of great white sharks mount off Cape Cod in real life, however, businesses in the Massachusetts town of Chatham are embracing the frenzy.”

Maybe the Western Australia government should visit Chatham Mass. and talk to their businesses. They would hear that instead of the great white sharks scaring tourists away, they actually attract them.

Shark T-shirts are everywhere, “Jaws” has been playing in local theaters and boat tours are taking more tourists out to see the huge seal population that keeps the sharks coming. Harbormasters have issued warnings but — unlike the sharks in the movies — the great whites generally are not seen as a threat to human swimmers. 

No sensational headlines, no mass hysteria, no loss of business. Why don’t we see more of this kind of reporting in the media?

A local business man is quoted as saying: “I mean, truthfully, we’ve probably grown about 500 percent in terms of the sale of our shark apparel,” he said. The T-shirts, hoodies, hats, belts, dog collars and other accessories bear the iconic, torpedo-shaped image of great whites and sell for between $10 and $45.
 
Read the entire article here

It’s nice to see that an entire community has been embracing the great white sharks and found a way to use them to their benefit. This is an example, how humans and nature can benefit from each other. The people have a booming economy and the sharks don’t get culled. Are you listening, Western Australia?

Cheers,
Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.

Richard Branson, voice of reason?

Most of you are aware of the recent “shark cull” policy enacted in Western Australia. Since they actually started to use baited drum-lines, there has been a public outcry to stop the killing of the sharks. Many argue the the drum lines indiscriminately…