Established in 2004 by Beqa Adventure Divers together with the Villages who own the reef and the Government of Fiji, this is Fiji’s first Marine Reserve dedicated to the protection of Sharks.
Harboring 8 species of Sharks and close to 400 species of Fish, the Reserve is the ideal location for cutting-edge research into Shark Ecology and Behavior and Ichthyology, and for many local and international Film Productions.
Just off the southern coast of Viti Levu, Fiji, on the edge of Beqa Passage lies an innocuous patch reef; Shark Reef Marine Reserve. It is here, in these protected waters that divers can observe and interact with some of the oceans top predators and a multitude of fish species on The Shark Dive.
Taking shark diving to the extreme, the regular shark population comprises 8 different species; Whitetip Reef Sharks, Blacktip Reef Sharks, Grey Reef Sharks, Tawny Nurse Sharks, Sicklefin Lemon Sharks, Silvertip Sharks, Bull Sharks and Tiger Sharks. If shark diving is your thing, then Shark Reef Marine Reserve and The Shark Dive are for you!
Shark Reef Marine Reserve is about more than just The Shark Dive. The cornerstone o f Shark Reef Marine Reserve is the ongoing research studies in the effort to learn more about these misunderstood animals and in turn assist in their long-running battle for survival.
Beqa Adventure Divers is proud to be associated with the establishment of Shark Reef Marine Reserve, however none of this would have been possible without the involvement of Shark Reef’s traditional owners, the villages of Wainiyabia and Galoa. Both villages have agreed to relinquish their respective fishing rights to Shark Reef and in exchange every diver who participates on The Shark Dive pays a ‘Shark Reef Marine Reserve Levy’ of FJ$10. This money is collected by Beqa Adventure Divers and deposited monthly into each village’s community bank account.
One of the toughest tasks facing Shark Reef Marine Reserve, or any protected area, is to stop illegal fishing. In April 2004, Beqa Adventure Divers sponsored the training of 12 Reef Wardens from the local community; 2 each from Waniyabia, Galoa, Beqa Island, Yanuca Island, Navua and staff members of Beqa Adventure Divers. The training program, conducted by the Government of Fiji, has allowed the community to oversee their protected waters as the Reef Wardens are attached to the Fisheries Department and have police powers to stop illegal activities.
To carry the Reef Wardens out to patrol the protected waters, The Shark Foundation in Switzerland has donated a boat to Shark Reef Marine Reserve, Reef Warden. The boat and crew are on call 24hrs a day and perform random patrols to ensure no fishing is taking place.