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Diving with the sharks

Fred Wesley
Tuesday, January 10, 2012

IT is encouraging to hear that Fiji offers one of the best shark dives in the world. At least that's according to a world-renowned photographer.

That top rating effectively places us on a very high pedestal in as far as shark dive spots are concerned around the world.

Michael Muller has mingled with Hollywood celebrities and has travelled to more than 100 countries diving with sharks.

He has taken pictures of these predators of the sea and he recently shot a series for the Travel Channel which is a leading travel media brand, and according to its website, the network is available in nearly 96 million US homes via cable.

What is pleasing to note though is the fact that his series, Shark Shoot Fiji was screened to millions of viewers before Christmas.

The impact of that could prove beneficial for our country.

Such events continue to remind us of how rich we are in natural resources.

It is up to us though to accept our blessings and learn to appreciate our surroundings.

With the sugar industry, long viewed as the backbone of our economy, now undergoing reform, the tourism industry is very important in terms of our national economy. And so it is important that what Muller saw beneath the waves off Wainiyabia is well looked after and add another facet and contribute to the growth of our tourism industry.

What separates Fiji from the rest of the top shark dive spots around the world is the interesting fact that we offer divers the opportunity to be among eight different species of sharks in one location.

Mr Muller and his team believe they have just dived in one of the best locations for sharks.

The rating is good for our country. The series would have attracted millions of viewers we hope would in turn learn something about Fiji.

The roll-on-effects are many and could be positive in the long-term.

Apart from the possible wide publicity Fiji gained from the screening of the series last month, there would have been some economic activity in and around locations of the shark series shoot.

The film team met with qoliqoli owners and gave school supplies for their children.

We hope this event will be the stepping stone to greater things for our tourism industry.

Tourism will depend on the goodwill of the people of this country to flourish.

We can make or break it. It is up to each one of us to do the right thing, for ourselves first and for our country.


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