Eco Tourism & Feeding Sharks

Published in Diving

ECO Tourism

To share in the possible success of our shark dive, we have invited the three Beqa villages that have fishing rights in the area, to discuss a possible protection of the site.

As of now the area is protected as “Beqa Lagoon Resort Protected Area” and fishing at the site is prohibited.

Beqa Lagoon Resort pays a set amount to the villages for each diver participating in our shark experience. This disbursement provides compensation to the villages for loss of income due to non-fishing in the protected areas. 

Feeding Considerations

Feeding wild animals is a very controversial topic.

Do we alter the sharks’ behavior? Should we feed at all? - Valid questions …..

And we feel the right answer is “Yes, we should, in order to make people more aware of sharks”

Our experience and daily interaction with divers shows that feeding is the right thing to do - we attract sharks with food to visit our site and stay in order to see them close up, this proximity makes it possible for every diver to study their behavior their every movement - we provide firsthand education to shark behavior, the basis to de-mystification of sharks. Our divers personally experience how considerate and careful sharks are - far from being senseless killers. 

Experiencing promotes understanding - every diver that visits this site takes home an experience that renders him or her as a shark ambassador - an urgently needed protector of these wonderful animals.

As a side effect, we have learned that feeding sharks in the same location attracts lots of other species of fish, which benefits reef and coral growth.

When it comes to feeding sharks, we are different than other diver operations - we do NOT feed the sharks by hand and we keep the amount of food to a minimum.

Our feeding method is the most “natural” way of attracting sharks to the site - we simulate carcass feeding - a natural occurrence.

Sharks are “cleaning” reefs and sea from dead fish and mammals - feeding on carcasses is a natural shark behavior.

Diving Cathedral, is a “soft” shark feeding - no direct human-shark interaction, no circus tricks, etc. - just watching and learning about our majestic sharks up close and personal with memories to last a lifetime.

Read more...

The Cathedral - Fiji

Published in Diving

“Tiger Shark Cathedral”

There are only a couple of places on this planet where you can dive with the “Sea Tiger” eye to eye, up close and personal - one of these sites is Cathedral, Beqa Lagoon Resort’s own Tiger Shark dive.

Cathedral is a once in a lifetime experience - multiple shark species in clear water, just a 15 minute boat ride from the resort.

Enjoy diving with multiple Tiger Sharks at a time - the biggest predator of tropical seas - experience big sharks so close you could touch them …..

A dive you will mark in your logbook as the best there can be :-)

Site Development

About 18 months ago we came up with the idea to develop our own shark dive - we wanted to develop a site closer to Beqa Lagoon Resort and less dependent on tides and rain than the other sites, and in clearer water.

Our dive guides, knowing Beqa Lagoon for over 2 decades proposed a couple of sites where they had the most shark encounters during dives - most sites were close to Nanuku Island, a small island with a fringing reef, north-east of Beqa Lagoon Resort.

Most of these locations proved troublesome to reach, due to waves and currents - one, however, seemed to be almost perfect - protected from waves and with moderate to no current - we chose to try this site close to Soft Coral Plateau, only 15 minutes by boat from our resort.

We collected dead coral blocks and built a wall on the sandy plateau in about 65ft/20m depth in order for our guest to remain in one place, be protected and prevent damage to the reef. 

We’ve built and sank several concrete blocks for moorings and ascend/descend lines.

Shark Sightings

When we first started Cathedral, we had almost no sharks - the sharks that would frequent the site were mainly reef sharks.

It became more exciting once we suddenly had the visitors we’d hoped for - Bull Sharks started to join the crowd of the usual reef sharks. Then it happened - we got a new guest - our first tiger shark - a big female.

All very exciting, but not on regular basis - some days without any sharks, others days with Lemon, Reef, Bull and Tiger Sharks.

It seemed our shark site procedures had to be improved - we changed our ways in April 2015 and then lucky us, sharks were visiting on a regular basis :-)

To our surprise, we were getting more and more tiger sharks at the site - by July 2015 we had already counted at least 13 individuals from 4ft./1.2m to 12 ft/3.7m - by now our count is around 20 :-) - we have 2 boys, a pregnant female and several baby tigers - the sweetest is only about 4ft/1.2m - very cuddly :-) 

Since the end of July 2015 we’ve had 2 or more tiger sharks on every dive - the most was 8 tigers - an experience so impressive - hard to put in words ……. 

 

Read more...

Cabbage Patch

Published in Diving

Location: About 60 minutes by speedboat in northwestern direction from Yap Pacific Divers. Way leads through German Channel.

Yap IslandTopography: On Cabbage Patch the reef makes a little step, a mini wall, from the main reef plateau in 15 ft. (5 m) down to roughly 40 ft. (12 m) - from there on a long reef slope goes all the way down to 90 ft. (27 m) – after the long slope a drop off to over 200 ft. (60 m). The southern part of the dive site starts with a step dropping from 15 ft. (5 m) to 70 ft. (21 m), before the drop off falls to over 200 ft. (60 m).

Points of Interest: Little caves, big blocks of coral heads, patches of cabbage corals, turtles, sharks, barracudas, bumphead parrot fish, napoleon fish, snappers, any kind of reef fish. 

Current: Depending on moon, tide and weather conditions. Current from zero to slow;

The Route: Drift dive from north to south on rising tide. The dive starts in about 80 ft. (25 m) with reef on the left shoulder. Multilevel dive along the wall and reef; after a safety stop ascend to the surface close to the wall on our guide’s surface marker buoy. 

Difficulty: Open Water/Advanced Open Water

Best time: All around the year, high tide

Read more...

Cherry Blossom

Published in Diving

Location: About 60 minutes by speedboat in northwestern direction from Yap Pacific Divers. Way leads through German Channel.

Yap IslandTopography: Cherry Blossom is the combination of slopes at the shallow part of the reef 15-20 ft. (5-6 m) and 3 consecutive drop offs dropping down to over 200 ft. (60 m). 

Yap IslandPoints of Interest: Three very impressive walls, huge structures, Turtles, Sharks, Barracudas, Bumphead Parrot Fish, Napoleon Fish, Snappers, any kind of reef fish. 

Yap IslandCurrent: Depending on moon, tide and weather conditions. Current fro zero to slow.

The Route: Drift dive from south to north on rising tide. The dive starts in about 80 ft. (25 m). Multilevel dive along the walls. After a safety stop ascend to the surface close to the wall on our guide’s surface marker buoy. 

Yap IslandDifficulty: Open Water/Advanced Open Water

Best time: All around the year, high tide

Yap Island

Read more...

Sunset Reef

Published in Diving

Location: About 50 minutes by speedboat in northwestern direction from Yap Pacific Divers. Way leads through German Channel.

Yap Island

Topography: Sunset Reef is the southern corner of Gaetmoqon Channel a marine protected area. The reef slopes from the main reef in 15 ft. (5 m) down to roughly 60 ft. (18 m) – from there on the reef turn into a wall, dropping to over 200 ft. (60 m) depth. 

Yap Island

Points of Interest: Turtles, Sharks, Barracudas, Bumphead Parrot Fish, Napoleon Fish, Snappers, any kind of reef fish. 

Yap island

Current: Depending on moon, tide and weather conditions. Current from zero to slow;

The Route: Drift dive from mainly south to north on rising tide. The dive starts in about 65-82 ft. (20-25 m) with reef on the right shoulder. Multilevel dive along the wall and reef top; after a safety stop ascend to the surface close to the wall on our guide’s surface marker buoy. 

Yap Island

Difficulty: Open Water/Advanced Open Water

Best time: All around the year, high tide

Read more...

Turtle Cove

Published in Diving

Location: About 45 minutes by speedboat in northwestern direction from Yap Pacific Divers. Way leads through German Channel.

yap island

Topography: The reef structure looks almost like a hammer including handle, reaching out from the main reef on the west side of the island. The hammer is the northern end of the dive site. The reef slopes from 10 ft. (3 m) to about 100 ft. (30 m). The reef top is a flat plateau – from there the reef slopes until a sandy bottom in 100 ft. (30 m).

yap island

Points of Interest: Turtles, Sharks, Nurse Sharks, Barracudas, any kind of reef fish. The shallow reef is home to a big variety of small reef fish. Very big areas of the shallow reef are overgrown with huge table corals.

yap island

Current: Depending on moon, tide and weather conditions. Current fro zero to slow.

The Route: Drift dive from either south to north, or the opposite way, depending on the current. The dive starts in about 65-90 ft. (20-30 m). Multilevel dive along the slopes inside the “bay” built by main reef and hammer. After a safety stop ascend to the surface close to the reef on our guide’s surface marker buoy. 

Difficulty: Open Water/Advanced Open Water

Best time: All around the year, high tide

yap island

Read more...

Fanif Wall

Published in Diving

Location: About 40 minutes by speedboat in northwestern direction from Yap Pacific Divers. Way leads through German Channel.

yap island

Topography: Fanif Wall is a Drop Off on the western side of the island, consistent of two separate walls. The top of the walls is in about 15 ft. (5 m), dropping to about 70 ft. (21 m) like a step. From 70 ft. (21 m) finally a steep wall down to over 200 ft. (60 m).

yap island

Points of Interest: Turtles, Sharks, Barracudas, any kind of reef fish. Marlin sights are possible along the walls.

yap island

Current: Depending on moon, tide and weather conditions. Current fro zero to slow.

The Route: Drift dive from either south to north, or the opposite way, depending on the current. The dive starts in about 65-82 ft. (20-25 m). Multilevel dive along the walls. After a safety stop ascend to the surface close to the wall on our guide’s surface marker buoy. 

yap island

Difficulty: Open Water/Advanced Open Water

Best time: All around the year, high tide

yap island

Read more...

Yap Corner

Published in Diving

Location: About 30 minutes by speedboat in northwestern direction from Yap Pacific Divers. Way leads through German Channel.

yap island

Topography: Yap Corner is northern corner of Mill Channel. The northern part of Yap Corner is a wall, which drops from 15ft. (5 m) down to over 200 ft. (60 m). The corner itself starts in about 15 ft. (5 m) to slope down to 30 ft. (10 m) after a small plateau it slopes to 70ft. (21 m) and finally to 130 ft. (40 m), where the hard coral formation ends on a sandy bottom. The eastern part of Yap Corner is a straight wall, which leads into Mill Channel – depth 130 ft. (40 m) to 98 ft. (30 m). Here in about 98 ft. (30 m) depth a big coral formation on the bottom.

yap island

Points of Interest: Aside from Manta Rays coming around the corner, going in to Mill Channel, schools of Barracudas, Grey Reef Sharks, Snappers, Turtles and the possibility to see pelagic sharks.

yap island

Current: Depending on moon, tide and weather conditions. 

The Route: Drift Dive which starts on the northern wall of the corner in about 70-80 ft. (21-24 m) depth – as multilevel dive leading around the corner into the channel. Ascend after a safety stop close to the wall, around our guide’s safety buoy, or a set buoy inside Mill Channel on the northern side of Mill.

yap island

Difficulty: Open Water/Advanced Open Water

Best time: All around the year, high tide

yap island

Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed