Thursday, 29 January 2015

Great Resource & Training for Coral Identification

The Coral Identification Capacity Building Program is pleased to announce the release of our revised coral identification training resources - Coral Finder Toolkit 2.0 

Coral Finder Toolkit 2.0 is a proven suite of practical tools for learning coral identification in the Indo Pacific comprised of the Coral Finder, the Coral Hub website and the Coral Finder Toolkit disc. 

Of particular interest to reef people are the NEW revised and updated FREE training movies in English AND NOW  Bahasa Indonesia! The new movies have many improvements gleaned from our experience of training over 400 people in coral identification and are authored in high definition to provide superior visual detail when viewing via file or high bandwidth stream. 

CFT 2.0 coral ID training movies in English <>

CFT 2.0 coral ID training movies in Bahasa Indonesia <>

The Coral Finder <>  empowers students, divers, naturalists and researchers to ID corals to genus where it really matters…. underwater.  It’s Visual Navigation system overcomes the problem of growth form variation and provides a powerful cross reference back to Corals of the World for post dive follow up to species level.

The Coral Finder is supported by the Coral Hub website - a resource with a graded learning pathway for self-paced learning for beginner through intermediate to advanced level knowledge.

The Coral Hub website includes:
 • a free complete video training course (Training Movies: available in English and in Bahasa Indonesian, and Revision Movies) aimed at bringing beginners through to intermediate level coral identification anywhere in the Indo Pacific 
 • free downloadable self revision tools for people wishing to refresh their coral identification skills 
 • a jargon busting terminology tool (the Termigator) to simplify basic coral taxonomy
 • links to deeper knowledge.

In summary the Coral Finder Toolkit:
 • empowers motivated individuals to teach yourself coral identification (or learn via a workshop with over 400 people trained to date)
 • contains accurate, plain language visual training resources
 • synthesises the basics of coral identification in a practical, engaging and visually rich way
 • is a “real world to theory” translator with a proven high (~80%) transfer of skills to the workplace

Coral Hub – Resources & Training for Coral Identification

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Fiji's Reefs @ National Geographic Magazine

Fiji's Reefs @ National Geographic Magazine

By Les KaufmanPhotographs by Tim Laman

In the South Pacific a spectacular reef system takes an environmental walloping and lives to tell the tale. Scientists are listening closely.
Fiji's Reefs @ National Geographic Magazine

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

In Fiji, diving with big, hungry sharks - BBC

A surreal scene

In the crystalline waters off Fiji’s main island of Nadi, Scuba divers can take the plunge with a mind-boggling variety of toothy predators: tiger sharks, nurse sharks, whitetip reef sharks, lemon sharks – even massive bull sharks.

Pictured here, a trained feeder 25m below sea level pulls mahi mahi and tuna heads from a large green trash bin.

Without a cage or any protection, the diver dangles the meat before the sharks. And with that, the feeding begins. (Lia Barrett)

BBC - Travel - Slideshow - In Fiji, diving with big, hungry sharks

Thursday, 8 January 2015

World's Best Scuba Diving in Fiji - Sport Diver

From seductive reefs covered in rainbow-colored soft corals to heart-racing encounters with blacktip and tiger sharks, it's no wonder divers are smitten with Fiji.

On some dives, the eyes say it all, and we’re all a bit wild-eyed as a silky joins the shark-feeding frenzy in Beqa Lagoon, sweeping in close, almost mischievously, before swimming off. Just when I think we’ve experienced our dive climax, a 16-foot tiger shark slips into the scene.
The hungry tornado of whitetip, blacktip, nurse, bull, lemon and reef sharks, plus a bundle of 800-pound grouper, clear the way for her entrance. Her imperial demeanor commands a respect that both fish and divers honor. 
She has the faded stripes of a mature Galeocerdo cuviera and a mangled dorsal fin — a scar from mating and a telltale sign she’s female. She glides over our heads and disappears as seamlessly as she came in. Now that’s how a lady makes an entrance.
Full article here: World's Best Scuba Diving | Fiji | Sport Diver

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Fiji is PADI's ScubaEarth Featured Destination

PADI Asia Pacific is delighted to advise that the weekly diving destination featured on ScubaEarth™ is currently showcasing Fiji.

ScubaEarth™ is an online scuba resource and social community for divers and other water lovers. It’s a robust, one-stop site to research, plan and share dive experiences providing a host of information.
Please take a look at the ScubaEarth Featured Destination on Fiji.

ScubaEarth is already a high traffic website for the scuba diving industry as it’s powered by PADI and PADI Members and with an average of 50,000+ unique visitors each month – it presents 130,000+ consumers (divers or potential divers) to reach, engage and convert.


PADI Asia Pacific

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Good news from science for one: corals show increased ability to withstand heat

Ocean warming is one of the most urgent threats to coral reefs (1–3).

Some taxa may migrate in response to changing environmental conditions (4), but corals and other sessile organisms only migrate through larval movement (5).

This is viable for coral species with planktonic larvae, but not for the many coral species with crawl-away larvae that cannot migrate far.

Adult corals must therefore adapt evolutionarily or acclimate physiologically to survive warming.

On page 895 of this issue, Palumbi et al. (6) show that tabletop corals (see the first photo) can both acclimate and adapt to elevated temperatures in American Samoan back-reef pools (see the second photo), where high-temperature extremes are common.

If the result holds for other species and locations, it provides hope for coral reefs under global warming.

Lamarck was partially right—and that is good for corals

Thursday, 17 April 2014

PADI supports Fiji Dive Expo

For the past nine years PADI Asia Pacific has supported the Fiji Dive Committee through sponsorship of the Fiji Dive Expo to assist the country’s diving industry.
Ian Cumming, PADI Regional Manager for the South Pacific and Marketing Executive, Sheridan Hatcher attended the event which took place in the Coral Coast from 20 – 21 February, 2014 at Warwick Fiji Resort & Spa.
The annual expo provides an opportunity to share information about PADI’s diving services and support with local visitors and PADI Professional Members in Fiji.
PADI’s support was recognised and published in the Fiji Times – see here for the full Fiji Times article.
Sheridan_ Ian Fiji  sml
PADI supports Fiji Dive Expo

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Divers transform lives - Fiji Times

PADI instructors, dive centres and resorts help transform lives through education, experience, equipment and environmental conservation.

In Fiji, there are 60 PADI certified dive shops and about 270 PADI affiliated dive masters and instructors.

And to assist the business of diving in Fiji, PADI Asia Pacific has supported the Fiji Dive Committee through sponsorship of the Fiji Dive Expo over the past nine years.

Ian Cumming, the regional manager for PADI in the South Pacific, was at the Warwick Resort and Spa event to share information of the various support and services provided by PADI.

He said he saw great value in having close links with their Fijian counterparts as it ensured members were kept up to date.

"We are also able to provide support to the PADI professionals in Fiji that assists them with recreational diver training for visitors who come to Fiji to enjoy the tropical waters of this beautiful country," Mr Cumming said.

He said the forum was important as almost all dive operators attending the expo were PADI resort and retail association members.

Also present was PADI marketing executive Sheridan Hatcher.

He focussed on assisting members with their own marketing and social media efforts including Facebook, YouTube, Blogs, Twitter, social media advertising and graphic design assistance.

Divers transform lives - Fiji Times Online

Margaret Wise
Saturday, February 22, 2014

Monday, 24 February 2014

Professional dive buyers explore Vatu-i-ra passage - Fiji Times Online

FOR the first time, the Dive Fiji EXPO focused on the Central Division and dive live aboards.

This allowed 13 visiting professional dive buyers to spend an entire week exploring the Vatu-i-ra passage and waters surrounding the Lomaiviti Group.

Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association dive committee chairman Stuart Gow said Bligh Waters was highlighted along with islands in the East, the excursion co-ordinated by Tourism Fiji, Alexxis Edwards of Nai'a Cruises and Nick Darling from Volivoli Beach Resort & Spa.

Mr Darling also represents the West in the FHTA Dive Committee. "The week culminates in the expo, an event that creates the opportunity for the entire Fiji Dive Tourism industry to showcase itself to all the invited international buyers," said Mr Wong.

This year the expo was on Thursday and Friday at the Warwick Fiji Resort & Spa in the Coral Coast.

The Fiji Siren, operating out of Volivoli Resort in Rakiraki, enjoys high end dive clientele from around the world. Picture: Supplied

"There are 20 Fiji dive operations and resorts showing, with a total of 45 attendees. They are from all over Fiji, from Taveuni, Savusavu, Kadavu, Beqa, Coral Coast, Nadi and Mamanucas. The cruise ships and dive live aboards — Fiji Siren and Nai'a — also participated.

"Once more the FHTA Dive Fiji EXPO is supporting emerging markets highlighted by Tourism Fiji, and this year we have attendees from both Mainland China and Taiwan."

The annual event is sponsored by marine conservationist Coral Reef Alliance, PADI, the largest dive teaching agency in the world, AirTec NZ, a suppliers of dive compressors from New Zealand and Splash Watersports, a water sports equipment supplier from New Zealand.

Professional dive buyers explore Vatu-i-ra passage - Fiji Times Online

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Diving in Fiji a 'drawcard' - Fiji Times

A South African tourist with about 40 years of dive experience declared he would never retire exploring the underworld the first time he ventured out on the Fiji Siren.

Catering to high end dive clientele from around the world, the 40metre luxury live aboard vessel is the Volivoli Beach Resort owners' newest business in Fiji.

This year Fiji Siren took part in the FIJI Dive Fiesta — and along with Volivoli Beach Resort — was a host to 12 hand-picked international agents who sell dive travel.

Resort managing director Nick Darling said the agents were in Fiji for a familiarisation trip to showcase what Fiji had to offer.

He said he hoped to receive an influx of reservations as "these agents have fallen in love with our wonderful country and what we can offer".

"Diving in Fiji is a major drawcard and contributes significantly to our country's tourism income," Mr Darling said.

"Our decision to make such a substantial investment into a live aboard vessel in Fiji is due to our belief in the diving Fiji has to offer and the potential for growth in this sector.

"We are overwhelmed with immediate success and occupancy."

He said Fiji Siren's main source markets were Europe, US and Australia.

"We offer seven and 10-day trip itineraries as a combo deal with Volivoli Beach Resort, venturing as far south as Gau to visit sites like Nigali passage and as far north as Taveuni to visit The Great White wall and Fish Factory.

"On both our itineraries we spend time diving in the Namena Marine reserve where we frequently view great hammerhead sharks, scalloped hammerheads, grey reef sharks, pigmy sea horses. We also visit Vatu-i-ra.

"Both Vatu-i-ra and Namena offer amazing colourful soft and hard corals teaming with pelagic life and reef fish species alike."

Diving in Fiji a 'drawcard' - Fiji Times Online

Margaret Wise

Saturday, February 22, 2014