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Top shark dive

Mary Rauto
Tuesday, January 10, 2012

FIJI offers one of the best shark dives in the world.

World renowned photographer Michael Muller, who made his name by photographing Hollywood celebrities, was in the country mid last year to document his 10-day shark dive expedition in the Beqa waters.

His series, Shark Shoot Fiji, was a special episode made for the Travel Channel, a US satellite and cable channel available to 95 million homes in the US. Shark Shoot Fiji was screened for the first time on December 18 and was aired a few times.

Mr Muller said he had travelled to more than 100 countries and diving with the sharks in Fiji was amazing.

"Out of anywhere in the world to travel to and document, me and my team chose Fiji for two reasons, first and most importantly because Fiji offers one of the best, if not best shark dive in the world," he said.

"There are not many if any places in the world you can go and find eight different species of sharks in one location reef. Fiji offers that.

"We saw everything we came there to see then some more."

Mr Muller said there was a mixture of weather, which added to the challenges.

"It didn't hurt to have the locals bless us and our trip in the middle of a bogiwalu (eight days of bad weather)," he said.

"Needless to say, I believe their prayers and ours were answered when the next day after their prayers we had sunny skies, no waves and clear visibility.

"Miracles in Fiji were an added bonus."

Aqua Trek Beqa manager Brandon Paige and his team worked with the production crew. He said this was the largest production they had ever worked with and described the experience as good.

"They had very powerful strobe and Michael is the only photographer who does not have lighting on his camera," he said.

"He placed his strobe on different parts of the sea.

"The crew did not want to see the sharks only, they wanted behind the scene stories so they met the qoliqoli owners and even brought school supplies for the children."

Mr Muller said the other reason he came to Fiji was the adventure yacht, Suri, owned by his friend. The vessel had everything needed for the expedition from a helicopter, dirt bikes, fast boats to jet skis.

Mr Muller said talks were in progress to have Shark Shoot Fiji aired on other networks.


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