Monday, 31 December 2007

7 new OW Divers at Matava

Matava Resort's 'Mad Fish Dive Centre' offers guests a full range of PADI Dive Certifications.

During the Christmas to New Years Eve week, Mad Fish Dive Centre qualified seven guests to full PADI Open Water Certification , a dive qualification that they will have for life.


7 new OW Divers at Matava

Saturday, 29 December 2007

A beautiful relaxed wedding we'll never forget

Vinaka vaka levu to all of you! Thanks for an awesome time guys - beautiful relaxed wedding we'll never forget, delicious food we will be dreaming about for ages & such warm and friendly hospitality. Special thanks to Simon for introducing us to the world of diving; to Maggie, for planning all the details of our wedding that we didn't really think about; and to Richard for some fun evenings- and sore heads! Our stay here has been inspiring – Kadavu sa rei talei.


Bronwen and Michael McGee


Friday, 28 December 2007

Crazy Christmas Courses

Congratulations first of all to Michael and Bronwin McGee who got married at Matava on Xmas day. They just about made the wedding on time, after an uber 3 hr session of confined skills for their PADI Openwater course in the morning, we got back to the dive shop at 12.20, the wedding was at 1 on a nearby beach. While Richard was pacing the shores, the pastor was getting restless and Maggie was stressing out, the couple to be were more chilled out than anyone, slowly meandering back to their bure to get changed.

We all had a day off on the 26th, after wedding/xmas celebrations, then on the 27th 2 became 5 – Sally Cobb, Allison Walker and Thomas Castets joined the newlyweds, Richard made a rare appearance in the water and we had one of those amazing moments underwater, whilst surrounded by an uncountable number of fish, I watched my 5 new PADI students do a perfect free ascent. Awesome!

The next day was the start of a new PADI Openwater course, Caitlin Kelly, Chris Johnson, Jill Boag and Emma Richardson stepped up. Emma (scared of fish), completed her PADI DSD and the others went on to do the full open water course. The first dive can only be described as mayhem - divers everywhere, surrounded by a cloud of sand. I couldn’t have done it without the help of Mr Tevita Baivou – our resident Divemaster. However, after some serious skill sessions and lot of hard work, it was incredible to see the difference by the end of the course. All 3 put in a massive effort to get through the course and at the end, it was like looking at 3 different divers.

So a big thank you to all my Xmas students. I did some serious celebrating on New year!

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Matava gets TripAdvisor Popularity Index: #1 of 6 hotels in Kadavu Island


Matava gets TripAdvisor Popularity Index: #1 of 6 hotels in Kadavu Island

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating: 4.5 based on 16 reviews

TripAdvisor Popularity Index: #1 of 6 hotels in Kadavu Island

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Global Shark Assessment

Matava is actively involved in helping collect data for this project. Come a long and have a dive and help us record the large number of sharks we see in Kadavu!

Divers: You have very valuable experience and information that can be put to good use in scientific surveys- I know I do and I have only 500 dives. Many of you may know that the number of Marine Protected Areas and no-take zones have increased dramatically in recent years, so we need new methods (alternatives to fishing) to determine how species are responding to protection.

Project Description:

I am part of a working group that is conducting a Global Shark Assessment to evaluate how shark populations have changed since the beginning of industrial scale fishing, and to make predictions about how these populations will respond to global climate change and to different methods of fishing and protection.

Specifically, I am using scuba diver's observations to census shark populations at different spatial and temporal scales via two surveys: Historical Sightings Survey (HSS) and Current Sightings Survey (CSS).

HSS gets divers to report sightings and diving effort for an area by decade. Ideal candidates for the HSS are dive professionals or recreational divers. Although the HSS asks divers to fill out their observations from memory, divers that do have logbooks are encouraged to fill out the survey from memory and then with the logbook to get an estimate of error.

CSS gets divers to report sightings for each dive. This survey is more specific and detailed than the HSS. All ocean going divers (professionals, recreational, and tourists) are candidates for this survey.

Results of the HSS will be used to show where sharks are abundant and where they have been lost over the past 3-4 decades. These findings will be compared with global databases of human population, fishing pressure, protection status, and coastal development to gain understanding of what factors best contribute to the protection of sharks.

The study will not only provide valuable information about where sharks are surviving, but it will also show that scuba divers can provide valuable information that is comparable to that provided by fishermen or volunteers in the Breeding Bird Survey.

WHY would you want to fill out a survey?

With overwhelming evidence that shark populations have declined dramatically over the last 50 years, there are still places where some shark species are persisting and even thought to be thriving. Identification of these species and areas is an important step in determining the best method for recovery. In a time when the number of no-take zones and fishing restrictions are increasing, there is a need for acquiring data through alternative, non-extractive methods. All scuba divers/snorkelers that have been in the ocean can help with this effort.

WHO can help?

ANYONE that has ever dived/snorkeled in the ocean! There are two surveys: Historical Sightings Survey (HSS) and the Current Sightings Survey (CSS). Ideal candidates for the HSS are dive professionals or recreational divers. Since preliminary interviews suggested that most dive professionals do not keep logbooks, the survey asks divers to report their sightings and effort from memory. Preliminary research suggested that divers could recall the level of detail being asked in the HSS with reasonable accuracy; however, divers that do have logbooks are being encouraged to fill out the survey from memory and then with the logbook to get an estimate of error.

CSS gets divers to report sightings (or no sightings) for each dive. This survey is more specific and detailed than the HSS. All ocean going divers (professionals, recreational, and tourists) are candidates for this survey. CSS is not to be filled out from memory, it is for dives that you have environmental and sightings information for (either you have just done this dive or it is recorded in a logbook)- again it must include dives where you did and did not see sharks.

HOW to help?

1) Fill out the online survey- it should ONLY take a few minutes (1-2 minutes per area), OR 2) Send me an email ( and I'll send you an excel survey, OR 3) If you prefer the phone then I can call you (please note your timezone). THEN forward this survey (or my contact info.) to as many divers or dive shops that you can- the more people that fill out this survey the more we will know about the sharks people see.

Why is this important?

Sharks are an essential component of marine ecosystems; yet, human pressure has put many species at dangerously low abundance levels. Determining what tools (e.g. Marine Protected Areas, coastal development, undisturbed nurseries, fishing regulations, etc.) are best for their survival will be essential for restoring, at least in part, these systems to their former resilience.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Whales Revenge

As you know, every year thousands of whales and dolphins are slaughtered senselessly in the name of so-called 'scientific research'. The countries that still practice whaling cite traditions and customs. In my neck of the woods rape and pillage used to be customary and in my adopted home, cannibalism! Draw your own conclusions as to the comparisons however if your are disgusted, upset or just concerned about what is going on, why not click on the link, play the game to beat the whalers and sign the petition against commercial whaling. It really only takes a moment… and who knows…maybe even help towards the eventual banning of this barbaric practice.

786030 Richard Akhtar from Kadavu, Fiji - signed petition on 22nd December 2007

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Email from Peter about Google and Shark Finning: Shark Fin Ads on Google

Just recieved this from the Coral list email, quite encouraging that Google's "Don't be evil" extends to the oceans of our world as well.



From: Pete Faulkner
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2007 9:53 PM
Subject: [Coral-List] Shark Fin Ads on Google

Dear Listers

Following on from my post some time ago regarding Google Adwords for a shark fin supplier....

Having had numerous email conversations with Google (not an easy task in itself!) I have finally had a response from them suggesting that the posting of advertising for shark fins violates their advertising standards. We can therefore expect the removal of the offending advertisement in the near future.

I know that many of you also wrote to Google to express your concerns so I thought you would like to know that we have collectively had some success.

Pete Faulkner

Pete Faulkner

Conus Dive Training Partner
Mission : awareness Presenter
Coral Cay Conservation Chairman
PADI Master Instructor #615745
Reef Check Australia Trainer
Coral-List mailing list

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Kadavu Manta video

Another great wee Kadavu Manta video:

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

BSAC calls for photos

The British Sub-Aqua Club is looking for a new photograph for the BSAC membership card and would like to invite members to contribute.

If you have an eye-catching, diving-related image that can be used in landscape and you are a member of BSAC, e-mail your photo to

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Status of Coral Reefs in the South West Pacific: 2004

"Status of Coral Reefs in the South West Pacific: 2004"

This book is based on the reef survey data contributed to the Fiji GCRMN between 2000 and 2004, as well as presenting a picture of reef health in Nauru, New Caledonia, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

It should be relevant to everyone working in reef ecology and management, as
it allows you to view your own projects in the larger country and region-wide scale. Contributing organisations are acknowledged and so may wish to cite it in references.

It is on sale for the cost of publication - I believe F$34.00, available from IPS Publications, University of the South Pacific, Tel (679) 323 2248 Email

On line catalogue and books sales

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Information and support of the cause to end whaling

We at Matava recommend these sites for their information and support of the cause to end whaling.

Many of the sites listed above also have anti-whaling petitions and projects to support and protect whales.

I urge you to help these organisations with all their endeavours. While we may not directly agree with the tactics used by some groups we understand and respect the resolve they show in the campign to save the whales. One thing we all have in common is a love of these amazing marine mammals.