Monday, 26 November 2007

Lonely Planet's new guidebook goes green-08 November, 2007

MELBOURNE - Lonely Planet's new "Australia" guidebook, published this month, will feature an all-new section called the GreenDex -- a quick-reference index of sustainable accommodation, tours and experiences to help visitors travel responsibly within the country.

With a growing number of travellers recognising the importance of travelling sustainably, Lonely Planet is steadily increasing the amount of responsible travel content in its guides.

In a recent Lonely Planet survey of 24,500 travellers worldwide, over 90 percent of people said they would consider travelling in a low-impact way in the future. The addition of the GreenDex to this new "Australia" guidebook enables travellers to easily look up the best eco experiences in the country.

Senior commissioning editor, Errol Hunt, said he hoped the new Australia guidebook would "help travellers ensure that their own travel leaves as light a 'footprint' as possible, while still being fun and enlightening."

The attractions, tours and accommodation choices listed in the GreenDex have all been selected by Lonely Planet authors because they demonstrate an active sustainable-tourism policy.

Some are involved in conservation or environmental education, and many are owned and operated by local and indigenous operators, thereby maintaining and preserving local identity and culture.

Some of the listings have also been certified by Ecotourism Australia, which means they meet high standards of environmental sustainability, business ethics and cultural sensitivity.

According to Hunt, "Tourism in Australia, as in any country, needs to respond to the increasing call for visible sustainable tourism options. There are lots of great Australian tourism operators doing this already.

"We hope that the new GreenDex in our "Australia" guide, and other similar initiatives, will drive other operators in the same direction, as they see that there's a clear financial advantage in operating an environmentally-sustainable business.

"The GreenDex follows Lonely Planet's philosophy of being selective rather than encyclopaedic – our guidebook doesn't list every single tourism operator in the country, and neither does our GreenDex list every business that's sustainable – it only lists companies that are sustainable and also recommended by our authors," said Hunt.

Following feedback from travellers, this new edition of "Australia" also re-focuses on the needs of budget and midrange travellers, and combines extensive coverage with features readers ask for: tips for getting around the country by car, camping and caravanning and the best of contemporary Indigenous Australia.

For this new "Australia" guidebook, the authors explored more remote places than ever before: from King Island off Tasmania in the far south to Tiwi Islands, off the Northern Territory in the far north.

Other highlights include top travel recommendations by well-known Australians, tips on volunteering, advice on seasonal work and a special "Driving Australia" chapter.

Lonely Planet's new guidebook goes green

Monday, 19 November 2007

Cool video from

Cool video from

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Continuous underwater video monitoring systems

Ocean Presence Technologies (OPT) offers a family of continuous underwater video monitoring systems that can be controlled over the Internet. Developed for manta ray research for The Manta Network, the camera systems are now being offered for a wide range of other applications.

OPT's Underwater IP Camera (UWIPCam®, OceanCam®, AquariCam®) is the first video camera system that can be controlled over the Internet from anywhere in the world. Four models are available: OPT-02 AquariCam, OPT-03 Shallow Ocean model rated to 60 feet, OPT-04 is a Deep Ocean model rated to 150 feet and coming soon, the Ultra-deep Ocean system (OPT-05/06) that will go to depths of 250-400 feet.

The underwater video camera system can be used in a wide range of situations. The applications for housed PTZ camera systems whether for marine and aquatic or terrestrial placement include:

Research -- Manta ray and other animal/plant applications (marine, freshwater, land)

Telepresence & Education -- live educational experiences delivered to computer screens anywhere on the planet including classrooms. Applications include: Aquariums, zoos, commercial exhibits, conservation oriented educational organizations and virtual entertainment.

Monitoring/surveillance/security applications (private, commercial or government) -- any company that operates in an underwater, high-humidity, low-light or corrosive environment. These include: water treatment, oil drilling, nuclear, corrosive material transporting, manufacturing and other security applications.

Promotion and advertising -- using real-time video to market and sell resorts, cruise ships or cause-related marketing organizations directly to prospective buyers.
MantaCam Visit and support the Manta Network
Each camera sold benefits manta research!

Monday, 12 November 2007

Fiji’s reefs in spectacular condition!

Fiji’s reefs in spectacular condition!

Fiji’s reefs show high coral health after recovering from a coral bleaching event.

Coral reefs have frequently been in the news over the past few years, usually for all the wrong reasons, in articles about dying corals across the globe. However, Fiji has had reason to celebrate, with recent scientific reports suggesting that the reefs here are remarkably resilient, and currently in the best condition recorded. (this millennium!)

Fiji is a large archipelago with a great variety of reef types, spread across the country. While not denying that reefs have their ups and downs, the Fiji branches of the Global Coral Reef Network (GCRMN) and Reef Check have just published the results of eight years of study, where reefs have been seen to recover from events such as Cyclones, Crown of Thorns Starfish and High-temperature Coral Bleaching, within five years.

Dive operators around the Fiji Islands have supported and carried out scientific reef surveys on their dive sites, which have shown reefs affected by coral bleaching in 2000 were back to normal amounts of coral cover by 2005, and even better than normal by 2007.

Many reefs are currently showing a spectacular array of hard corals, with more than 80% coral cover, and 40% Acropora branching and table corals, the most attractive to fish, marine animals, and divers. This suggests that corals in Fiji can survive quite catastrophic events as long as they do not occur too often, a nice cause for optimism for the South Pacific reefs.

Detailed reef health reports can be found at:

By: Helen R Sykes

Director Marine Ecology Fiji

Fiji Co-coordinator Reef Check

Fiji Co-coordinator GCRMN

Friday, 9 November 2007

Fiji Telecom sector now open to all

Well this is great news for us outer islands like Kadavu, where maybe a little competition will increase our choices of how get past dodgy phone lines and only dial up service!


Telecom sector now open to all

Thursday November 08, 2007

Fiji’s telecommunications sector is now deregulated.

Interim Minister for Commerce, Industry, Investment and Communications Taito Waradi confirmed this today.

He said the Telecommunications Bill (that provides for the deregulation of Fiji's monopolised telecom sector) is now in place “as per the Cabinet decision on Tuesday”.

“The 1989 decree is now repealed. This new bill now replaces (the old one) which for the last 18 years locked us into exclusivity. We are now operating in a deregulated environment. There is no more (telecom) monopoly in Fiji,” Waradi said.

Read full article here...

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Streaming Multimedia From The Sun!

I know this isn't diving, but the thought of it out here in Matava is just great! here's a review from attitude | Oct 20 2007.

solar powered chinese pmp

Here is an idea that I thought should have hit the market a long time back. I use a calculator whose battery is charged by the sun. There are solar cookers, heaters & what not. It seems ironic that more companies have not thought of making use of this source of energy in case of cell phones or PMP’s. Zhejiang Sorbo has stepped in to change all that with its solar powered PMP.

I understand that is a product has a surface area that is too small such a technology is hard to integrate. But with most of these devices their back panel seems to be a perfect place to put a solar panel. The Chinese company has employed just that technique for its new light powered SB-5007 PMP. It contains a solar panel at the back which charges the internal battery of the device using the energy of the sun. if you are thinking that the product is confined to only that one uniqueness then think again. It is a gadget loaded with features & acts as a mass storage device.

It looks cool, stylish & functions brilliantly. To top it all off, you need not plug in he charger every time. I love the idea & think it should be incorporated on all small gadgets. Running out of charge in your cell is annoying when you are outdoors. Especially for someone like me who always seems to forget to charge his cell before a holiday trip. With this, now you can just go out & get recharged.

Buy one here:
Detailed Selling Lead Description

1) Solar-energy MP4 media player and USB Mass Storage function.
2) 262K colors and high speed 2.0 inches TFT display which support high-definition JPEG pictures.
3) It supports electronic book reading function, you can listen to the music while reading the electronic book. It also has bookmark function.
4) FM radio function.
5) Digital recording,A-B repetition function.
6) Supporting many languages.
7) Interesting game function.
8) High-efficiency PV function, its charged by solar-energy through the solar panel, the power stored is used to charge the built-in 650mAh/3.7V chargeable lithium battery.

1) Energy saving. Conventional ray,candela and sunlight irradiate directly on the solar panel, the power can be converted and charge the inside chargeable lithium battery. Charging by solar power is the most efficient one, It makes use of the natural energy effectively.
2) The card extended function which support 128 M to 2G MINI SD card extended.
3) Powerful function and perfect compatibility which can support many different file formats. Inside built a chargeable lithium battery, so never need to change battery.
4) It can play for a long time with low power consumption ; it can download files in a short time and support USB2.0 high-speed PC connecting port.
5) Playing by built-in speaker in high quality which can let you share your music with your friends at any time.
6) 262K colors and high speed 2.0 inches TFT display which make it clear and fluid to see video documents and read electronic book.
7)Safe to use, novel ,fashion and exquisite; convenient to carry; long lifespan; high cost performance.

Size: 99*51.6*18 mm
Weight: 62.14 g

Monday, 5 November 2007

Blue_Ribbon_Eel from Brian on Flickr

Originally uploaded by BrianMayes.
Awesome shot of a signature Fiji species!

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Matava Mantas on YouTube

Very cool Manta video, although IMO the music sucks! Why does everyone put BORING music to anything underwater. It's almost like bad porn music! How about some Buzzcocks or Stiff Little Fingers? It would certainly make it all a LOT more Fun! anyway that's my tuppence...