Monday, 31 December 2007

Top Ten Scuba Diving Trips

"The Fiji Islands make the list also. They are called the Soft Coral Capital of the World and are a favorite of undersea photographers."

2008 issue of Diving Almanac and Yearbook (D.A.Y.)

The 2008 issue of Diving Almanac and Yearbook (D.A.Y.) and Diving Pioneers & Innovators: A Series of In-Depth Interviews are two great new diving books available to International Training members.

“Diving Almanac and Yearbook is the definitive general reference books on diving, and I have had a copy on my desk since the inaugural issue in 2006,” said Steve Lewis.

Lewis, director of product development for International Training explained that D.A.Y. has sections on diving history, world records, a who’s who of diving, statistics, listings of dive sites by country and much more an easy-to-read, illustrated 616-page format. “For anyone even remotely interested in knowing a little more about diving and the dive industry,” he said. “This is the best desktop reference I know of.”

The second publication is Bret Gilliam’s lavishly illustrated coffee-table book on diving’s history. It features a foreword by Stan Waterman, and takes readers through a series of lively and insightful interviews with the likes of Bob Ballard, Peter Benchley, Dick Bonin, Ernie Brooks, John Chatterton, Mike deGruy, Al Giddings, Howard Hall, Michele Hall, Bob Hollis, Paul Humann, Greg MacGillivray, Bev Morgan, Chuck Nicklin, Ron & Valerie Taylor, Zale Parry, Wes Skiles, Stan Waterman, and Bret himself.

“The book is worth owning for its beautiful, full-color photographs alone,” explained Lewis. “But in Bret’s usual style and flair the text is written with wit and insight, making it the perfect special present and an exciting read for anyone who dives, but most especially anyone with an interest in the history of underwater image making from the early days of scuba to the present.”

International Training has worked out exclusive distribution agreements with Porbeagle Press, publisher of D.A.Y. and with New World Press and Bret Gilliam for Diving Pioneers & Innovators: A Series of In-Depth Interviews.

Contact Headquarters to order copies for your customers now at 1-888-7778-9073 or Or contact your local International Training representative to place your pre-holiday order.

To find out more about International Training’s innovative educational programs, and other dive business opportunities visit

Scuba Diving International (SDI) is the sport diving certification branch of the world’s largest technical diving agency, Technical Diving International (TDI). Also included is Emergency Response Diving International (ERDI), the only global public safety certification agency.

Material posted and distributed through DiveNewswire

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Zip Fiji

Saturday, 22 December 2007

"If you see this place, you would consider yourself the luckiest person on Earth." - Divester

Naduri villagersThat’s what marine biologist Aaron Jenkins says about Fiji’s Great Sea Reef. And it’s only getting better. That’s because Fiji is at the forefront of nations establishing marine protected areas (MPAs) in her territorial waters. By the year 2020, in fact, Fiji plans to have 30% of her waters under protection, which will make that island nation the largest system of underwater sanctuaries in the world.

Fiji’s Cakaulevu (a.k.a., the Great Sea Reef and the world’s third largest barrier reef) – is getting numerous waitui tabu (prohibited fishing zones) to provide sanctuary for thousands of marine species, including marine turtles, dolphins, sharks, and 43 new hard coral species. Similar MPAs have been implemented in other parts of Fiji. Locals agree that, as a result, not only do the flora and fauna appear healthier and happier, but personal incomes have risen by 35%.

I’m impressed with the fact that it isn’t just far-off government officials imposing strict regulations on remote islanders who fish for their livings. Rather, communities worked with the WWF, local politicians, NGOs and local village chiefs to help set up the MPA outside Naduri, the first of the network of marine protected areas in this part of the reef. As conservation practices spread, underwater communities are bound to become even more beautiful, meaning: Fiji will, no doubt, become even more of a premiere dive spot.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Fiji - Scuba Diving Magazine

Fiji - Scuba Diving Magazine:


may be Fiji's signature dive attraction, but there's much more to the underwater story here. With more than 320 islands to choose from, divers never run out of options.

The largest island of Viti Levu offers easy access to the widest range of sites (including the world-famous Beqa Lagoon and the shark encounters off Pacific Harbour) and has the most extensive diving infrastructure.

Vanua Levu and Taveuni, to the north, feature otherworldly walls of snowy soft coral. And the smaller islands of the Yasawas, the Lau Group, the Mamanucas, the Lomaivitis and Kadavu each have a distinct underwater appeal.

Acres of plate and staghorn corals have colonized the Yasawas and Mamanucas, considered to have some of the best vis in all Fiji. The bommies off the outer Lomaivitis are known for pelagics drawn to their shoals of baitfish, and the Great Astrolabe Reef of Kadavu is a top spot for big animal encounters.

Friday, 14 December 2007

Data for 2008 "Status of Coral Reefs of the World"

A call from Ms Helen Sykes of Marine Ecology Consulting...


We are now calling for data from anyone who wishes to contribute to the 2007 Fiji report, which in turn will be included in the 2008 "Status of Coral Reefs of the World" edited by Clive Wilkinson of AIMS. All contributors will be acknowledged in the reports, and also help us to
increase the representation of more regions of the Fiji Islands. Data need to be with me by 15 DECEMBER 2007.

You can send me raw data if you wish, but I know many organisations need to hold on to original information. All I need are averages in the form of summaries. The reef should be as representative as possible of the area you work in, and it's great if you have data at two depths, one between 3 and 6 metres and one betwen 9 and 12 metres, but we will take any data you care to share. If you do not measure all the criteria below, send what you have - not all sites contribute to all categories.



Site name

GPS reference


Reef Type


Water Temperature

Organisation name

Surveyor name

Survey method used

Please give means of at least 4 samples with standard deviation if possible:

Percentage substrate cover at the most complex level you record:

(Corals, Algae, Sponges, Abiotic substrate types)

Number of macro-invertebrates per 100m2 of reef Sea Cucumbers, Diadema Urchins, Tripnuestes Urchins, Pencil Urchins, Lobster, Banded Coral Shrimp, Crown of Thorns Stars, Giant Clams (Giant Clams with a size estimation)

Number of fish in these groups per 100m2 of reef Butterflyfish, Snappers, Sweetlips, Parrotfish over 20cm long, Moray Eels, Surgeon and Unicornfish, Goatfish, Jacks and Trevallies, Groupers (Groupers with a size estimation)

Any sightings, whether on a transect or off it, of Bumphead Parrotfish, Humphead Wrasse and Turtles. Turtles to species if possible, plus any notes on habitat and behaviour which may be possible.

Thanks and best regards,

Helen Sykes


marine ecology

Fiji's leading company for Coastal & Marine Ecology Assessments

Resort Support

PO Box 2558, Govt Buildings

Suva, Fiji Islands

t: +679-336-3625 / +679-359-2136


Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Change in name for ROC

Change in name for ROC
10 DEC 2007

Republic of Cappuccino (ROC) cafes located around Fiji will soon be known as Esquires coffee houses.

This follows a newly-established partnership between the locally-owned ROC cafes and a Canadian based investor.

“The change in name will be done sometime this Thursday or Friday,” says ROC managing director, John Philip.

Philip explains that the partnership deal is the best way to move the business forward.

“When we get together we will be stronger and this will be better for business,” he said.

Philip said he believes the partnership will help them benefit from the advanced point of sale system and Esquires ambitious nature.

“The Esquires coffee houses are rapidly growing and now they own a chain of hundreds of cafes around the world,” he said.

Philip stated that the ROC cafe has got a strong tradition of coffee and the Fijian market to offer its new partners.

Philip says they hope to run twenty cafes and kiosks in the next 5 years.

According to Philip, the upgrade maintenance of the ROC cafe has been going on for the past 2 months and they hope to put in the final touches by this Wednesday.

Philip said that they have invested $350 000 in the upgrade process.

The ROC cafe has already undergone some interior change in color, background settings and design.

Philip elaborates that the ROC cafe will still maintain its culture and continue to sell coffee drinks that have been profitable over the years while introducing some other drinks that are sold by Esquires.

The ROC cafes have been running in Fiji for nearly 10 years.



The DAN Europe safety and prevention campaign aims at increasing safety awareness and cautious behavior by boat operators and drivers.

The Problem
Whoever dives with a certain frequency knows only to well the danger of surfacing due to heavy boating, which quite often with high speeds, criss-crosses over into scuba diving areas, despite the presence of diving warning buoys or dive support boats equipped with dive warning flags.
Vain are the screams and gestures in warning those on dive boats from those monitoring their companions in the water, as often the noise of arriving boats cover up the cry of warning or simply because the boat pilot isn’t paying any attention. . . .
The snorkeler, who contrary to scuba divers, who effect repeated dives, are more prone to such accidents, since they are more often at the surface.
Thus, every year, unfortunately, there are recorded cases of divers run over by boats in transit and even more cases of near misses.

The Regulations
All this despite legislation regulating each Nation, with precise standards concerning dive warning buoys and the required minimum distance to be kept of such warning signs.
The diving community is perfectly aware of these norms of which the large majority of divers scrupulously apply.

The Consequences
When a motor boat, even of small dimension, hits a diver, the injuries caused by the boat and propeller are devastating and often result in death.

What can be done
The only way to reduce the number of these tragic deaths is through an awareness campaign and the advertising of the minimum distance standards to be kept, in such a way the majority number of boat operators are aware of the fact that the diver buoy and/or diagonally white striped red flag means a diver is in the water and therefore warned to avoid hitting them with the boat or worse yet, with the propeller, and is required to transit at a distance.

The DAN Europe Safety Campaign
DAN Europe (Divers Alert Network) has for years promoted a campaign in offering free of charge and for the asking, dive warning stickers to attach at dive centers boards, resorts, the entrances of piers of tourist ports, boat rental areas, or where ever they may be most visible by the majority of people who operate boats in any tourist area where divers may be present.
The campaign is based on the wide and capillary distribution of a simple message of immediate visual warning effect which conveys at first sight, vital information on the prevention of accidents and the observing norms set in place.

How to participate?
The invitation we are extending to all divers and those who love the sea, is that of distributing this message on safety as much as possible and collaborating with us by indicating newspapers, magazines, organizations, web-sites, TV shows who could become involved in this safety prevention campaign of boat propeller accidents.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Coral Reef Color, A Fish's-Eye View - National Geographic Magazine

Coral Reef Color, A Fish's-Eye View - National Geographic Magazine

"Startling greens, blues, yellows, and reds paint the creatures of the reefs. Scientists are learning to decipher the messages these colors convey and to see them the way fish do.

Gaze at the vivid yellows, blues, and psychedelic swirls of a single emperor angelfish and you'll sense the whimsy of evolution. Go on to explore its home in lush coral reefs and you'll soon hit sensory overload, assaulted by colors and patterns that range from sublime to garish. Coral reefs are unquestionably the world's most colorful places. But why?

Scientists have long known that color plays a role in sexual selection and warning of danger. But only in the past decade or so have we begun to understand how wavelengths of light (and therefore color) appear at different depths and how various marine creatures' eyes perceive this light and see each other—far differently than humans see them.

To document how reef animals use color, I joined photographer Tim Laman for a total-immersion course off Fiji and Indonesia. It was an eye-opener, with virtuoso dis-plays of color at every turn. Beyond the world's reefs, where waters are turbid or murky, most creatures use nonvisual means of communication such as smell, taste, touch, and sound. But in the clear, sunlit waters of coral reefs, light abounds, vision predominates, and animals—both sighted and blind—drape themselves in blazing color not only to entice mates or threaten foes but also to advertise their services, evade predators, catch prey, even hide in plain sight."

Read whole article: Coral Reef Color, A Fish's-Eye View - National Geographic Magazine

Fiji's Tourism Development Plan

Building Sustainable Tourism

© Brent Stirton/ Getty Images/ WWF-UK. Construction site for Marriot Hotel in Tikina Wai, Sigatoka, Fiji.

This was a proposed marine protected area. According to community members, at times, one could see upto 31 reef herons when this site was a wetland/marsh land.

For conservation of biodiversity to be fully appreciated and actively pursued at national and regional level, WWF also supports efforts to mainstream conservation into national and sectoral plans, policies and programmes. The Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA) of Fiji's Tourism Development Plan exemplifies this approach.

The objective of the SEA was to assess the environmental and sustainable development impacts of the Plan to enable the Ministry of Tourism and its partners to make future plans sustainable.

The SEA indicated a major need for the present policy to be reviewed in order to protect Fiji's environment and people. There were concerns about Fijians benefiting economically from tourism. The planned expansion of the tourism industry in the Plan threatened to cause irreversible environmental damage and could lead to tension between tourist developers, landowners and local communities.

Based on these findings, the report was published and an Advisory group was established to guide the SEA process. The group comprised representatives from the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of National Planning, Fiji Hotel Association, USP, tourism consultants, The Fiji Visitors Bureau and WWF. This process was a three way partnership between the Ministry of Tourism, the Asian Development Bank and WWF South Pacific.

» Download A Strategic Environmental Assessment of Fiji’s Tourism Development Plan

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Fathoms Magazine - the magazine of the underwater world

Fathoms Magazine - the magazine of the underwater world:

dolphin leaping

In Fathoms Magazine #21, you'll get an insider's view of one of the world's most luxurious dive resorts - The Wakaya Club.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Book on the status of coral reefs in the Pacific launched at USP

Book on the status of coral reefs in the Pacific launched at USP


IMR Director Dr Ken Mackay
at the launch of the book
The health of coral reefs in the Southwest Pacific is the subject of a new book which was launched at the University of the South Pacific this week.

Status of Coral Reefs in the SouthWest Pacific: 2004, which has been edited by Reuben Sulu, brings together reports from Fiji, Nauru, New Caledonia, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu, prepared under the auspices of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN). It was published by the Institute of Pacific Studies Publications at USP in collaboration with the University's Institute of Marine Resources.

The book was launched by IMR director Dr Ken MacKay who pointed out that book carried important information on coral reefs in this part of the world.

"The book is based on a 2004 coral reef monitoring report results of which were condensed into a global report which came out two years ago, said Dr MacKay.

He pointed out that coral reefs played an essential role in maintaining strong and healthy ecosystems, and which also contribute to local communities by way of providing food supplies, protecting coastlines and generating tourism opportunities.

The book reports on the status of coral reefs of the region and discusses threats to the reefs, before offering suggestions and recommendations for their ongoing management. The major issues in the region were commercial exploitation of marine resources, cyclone damage and coral bleaching. In face of these threats, survey results revealed that overall coral cover has increased since the major bleaching events (2000, 2002) to almost pre-bleaching levels and recognition of commercial exploitation and other anthropogenic impacts has led to awareness programs and establishment of small Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) throughout each island country. A similar report is currently being prepared and results of the 2007 surveys will be published in 2008.

Status of Coral Reefs in the Southwest Pacific: 2004, was financially supported by the Canada-South Pacific Ocean Development Programme, with further editing funded by the Coral Reef Initiatives for the Pacific (CRISP). It is available at IPS Publications, the Institute of Marine Resources and the USP Book Centre (all at the University of the South Pacific's Laucala Campus) or online at (ISBN: 9789820203860, 274pp, illus. col. RRP $34).

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Information and support of the cause to end whaling

We recommend these sites for their information and support of the cause to end whaling.

Many of the sites listed above also have anti-whaling petitions and projects to support and protect whales. I would strongly urge you to help these organisations with all their endeavours. While we may not directly agree with the tactics used by some groups we understand and respect the resolve they show in the campign to save the whales. One thing we all have in common is a love of these amazing marine mammals.