Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Fiji Sets a Standard for Shark Free Marinas

For a small island nation, Fiji has set a standard for their involvement in the Shark Free Marina Initiative. With 25 marinas signed on, they are still going strong. The Fijian culture respects sharks and the people realize the tourism and environmental value of a live shark. Island nations are limited in their economic ventures, so they protect that which is valuable. At the forefront of the Fijian campaign are Stuart Gow of Matava Eco Resort and Mike Neumann and his team at Beqa Adventure Divers. We interviewed Stuart for a PSA video and he said his involvement was a “ no brainer.” The resort is home to a popular sport fishing charter that also encourage catch and release if catching at all. He said is what a natural progression of the message the resort is already operating by. Stuart was also able to get PADI Project Aware involved in order to cover the cost of purchasing signs for all the marinas.

Mike Neumann and his team at BAD offer the ULTIMATE shark dive and care deeply about the animals they work with everyday. His feeders and dive team have a special connection with the sharks, like nothing I have seen before. Mike did not speak to us on camera, but the actions of his whole crew spoke volumes. Every one of them is truly an ambassador for sharks and for the ocean.

Our PSA will be coming soon, as a busy schedule has kept us away from editing. We were able to bring a new sign for the marina, made possible by the Humane Society of the United Stated. Andrew Cumming, dive operation manager, proudly hung the sign.
Thank you to Mike Neumann and the BAD crew, Stuart Gow and the people of Fiji.
Check out Shark Free for more information and to find out how you can get involved.

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