Adopt a shark initiative

Beqa Adventure Divers representatives present the My Fiji Shark initiative to the media and stakeholders yesterday. Picture: SUPPLIED

OUR local world-class shark dive operator has taken a major step forward in their efforts to conserve the marine life.

Beqa Adventure Divers (BAD) has embarked on a My Fiji Shark program which is a venture in collaboration with United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) who have created this project in order to achieve the shark research, management and conservation goals they all share.

With the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 a driver for marine ecotourism with a focus on SDG 14 Life Below Water, the venture is shark adoption program.

BAD director Natasha Marosi said the sharks offered for adoption were residents to Fiji and consistent visitors to the Shark Reef Marine Reserve (SRMR).

“While there are over 200 individually named sharks, around 50 of them visit on a frequent basis and so are being offered for adoption.”

BAD representatives headed by Ms Marosi presented the program to members of the media and stakeholders during a Media Roundtable on Marine EcoTourism at the SPTO office in Suva yesterday.

Ms Marosi said the revenue generated from My Fiji Shark would be used to support existing shark conservation measures, fund research, purchase research materials, create new shark conservation and inshore fisheries management programs and build an independent shark lab to conduct in-country shark conservation research.

“We also aim to assist government if and when they will implement their voluntary commitments made at the United Nations Ocean Conference.”

The My Fiji Shark program will target local business houses to adopt a shark where they will be expected to choose between Virtual Adoption 1 which costs $US50 ($106.63), Virtual Adoption 2 which costs $US100 ($213.27) and other adoption tiers.

The program is expected to be launched tomorrow and will be an a continuing venture aimed at marine conservation.

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