'My Fiji Shark'
Is a conservation initiative created by Beqa Adventure Divers 'BAD' with
support from the United Nations Development Programme 'UNDP'.
'My Fiji Shark' is a shark adoption program. Adoptions are for one year.
The sharks you see here offered for adoption are resident to Fiji and visit the Shark Reef Marine Reserve (SRMR) on a consistent basis. There are over 200 individually named sharks catalogued in the scientific database of the SRMR, we are offering the ones who visit most frequently for adoption. When you 'adopt' a shark, you adopt an individual: one with a name, a personality and a history personally known by the research and dive staff who spend 5 days a week diving with them.
Revenues generated from 'My Fiji Shark' will be used to 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. Our aim is to assist government if and when they will implement their voluntary commitments made at the 2017 UN Ocean Conference. We are not for profit, funds go directly into conservation works.
Only a handful of sharks can be 'named' during any given year.
To be given a 'name' they must exhibit a permanent identifiable mark, injury or genetic feature which allows them to be recognized, monitored and entered into the scientific data base of the Marine Park. On each shark dive, BAD's staff and marine biologists observe and record which named sharks are present, their interactions, feeding behaviors and physical attributes notating injuries, pregnancies, mating scars and more.
The Shark Dive
The Shark Dive takes place in SRMR 5 days a week.
The Shark Dive is 3 levels of diving, and feeding occurs at each level. At the deepest levels are the Bull Sharks, Tawny Nurse Sharks and Sicklefin Lemon Sharks; mid-level are Grey Reef and Whitetip Reef Sharks; in the shallows are Whitetip and Blacktip Reef Sharks. While it is possible to see up to 8 species of sharks on a single dive, 6 species are present on a daily basis while Silvertip and Tiger Sharks are less frequent visitors to SRMR.
The sharks display 3 different feeding behaviors.
Hand Feed: Hand-feeders will take tuna directly from the dive masters.
Aerial Feed: Aerialists will compete for tuna mid-water as it is dropped from a suspended bin.
Substrate Feed: Substrate feeders will retrieve tuna which has fallen to the ocean floor.
Sharks can specialize in a feeding behavior, exhibit a combination of 2 behaviors, or even be a generalized feeder displaying all 3 behaviors. Some of our sharks learn by patterning their behaviour and observing other sharks, while others work on perfecting their technique, and others never progress at all. Younger sharks to add to their repertoire of feeding behaviours the longer they visit the Shark Reef Marine Reserve.
Our sharks each have unique personalities and characters like you and I. Some individuals have been
visiting SRMR for over 15 years, while others have just begun. They displaya spectrum of traits and can be: outgoing, shy, inquisitive, friendly, dominant, playful, sneaky, quick witted, unpredictable and more. Their personalities and behaviors evolve as they grow older and continue to frequent the SRMR.
We are in a unique position to share this insight with you and to introduce you to a
side of sharks you have never seen before.
We have grouped the sharks into 3 categories or ranks. Shark Stars, Shark Superstars and Shark Icons. When ranking a shark we take into consideration longevity on the Reserve, personality traits, skill sets and interactions with our staff, researchers and directors.
Shark Stars: are unique and memorable individuals.
Shark Superstars: have special qualities and skill sets which make them stand out, and they are favored by our dive staff.
Shark Icons: are exceptional individuals who are like celebrities, and they are fiercely loved by staff and known for their penchant for interacting with staff.
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