Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Asia Pacific’s first PADI Green Star Award awarded to Matava, Fiji

We’re pleased to announce that Matava – Fijis Premier Eco Adventure Resort has received the first PADI Green Star award in the Asia Pacific region in November 2011 for our sustainable and eco-conscious environmental activities and business practices.

The program helps PADI Dive Centers and Resorts identify practical actions they can take to protect and preserve the environment. Because they choose which conservation actions they would like to implement, PADI Dive Centers and Resorts can completely customize the program for their businesses.

“There’s more to going green than simply jumping on the eco bandwagon,” says Bob Coleman, Vice President of Sales, Retailer and Resort Association, PADI Americas, Latin America and Canada. “Well-organized conservation initiatives can reduce costs while strengthening your brand, especially when you strategically introduce them into your overall business plan.

Earning the PADI Green Star Award shows customers that you care about the environment and are taking action to protect it. With today’s environmentally-conscious divers, going green can be an important competitive advantage.”
Richard Akhtar of Matava and Mike Holme of PADI Asia Pacific

Richard Akhtar of Matava and Mike Holme of PADI Asia Pacific

The PADI Green Star award requires dive operators and resorts to conduct an objective audit of their facility and business practices and assesses performance in water and energy use, transportation, waste management and conservation leadership.

“We hope other dive operations and tourism providers in the Asia Pacific region follow our example and help to protect their local environment and achieve sustainable business practises in a green and clean manner!” said Mr Stuart Gow, one of Matava’s Directors.

“We are extremely proud to win this award. We have been lucky to win overseas and global awards for our environmental policy in the past year, but it is especially gratifying to be recognised at home by our colleagues in Fiji.” he continued .

Richard Akhtar, Managing Director of Matava -- Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort said “At Matava, we are of course both happy and proud to receive this prestigious award. We find it even more important that the industry, by rewarding environmental efforts, choose to take a stand for the environment we depend on. We also see it as an important continuing signal to the community which at the same time can serve to inspire the numerous individuals and companies who have been doing so much, and continue to do even more in the field of environmental enlightenment and conservation. This award has highlighted Fiji’s leading role and efforts in this regard especially.”

 PADI Green Star Award presented to Stuart Gow of Matava by Drew Richardson, President of PADI at DEMA 2012

PADI Green Star Award presented to Stuart Gow of Matava by Drew Richardson, President of PADI at DEMA 2012 (Danny Dwyer, Drew Richardson, Stuart Gow, Hendrick Nimb, Mike Holme)

“At Matava, we are of course both happy and proud to receive this prestigious global award. We find it even more important that the industry, by rewarding similar efforts, choose to take a stand for the environment we depend on. We also see it as an important continuing signal to the community which at the same time can serve to inspire the numerous individuals and companies who have been doing so much, and continue to do even more in the field of environmental enlightenment and conservation. This award has highlighted Fiji’s leading role and efforts in this regard especially in our our region of the South Pacific.”

Mr Akhtar finished by saying “Matava -- Fiji’s Premier Eco-Adventure Resort has again proved that it is indeed among the leaders in environmentally sensitive resorts worldwide, and this latest award solidifies our position as an example of how resorts can operate AND help maintain and improve the surrounding environment”

The Green Star award was presented to us during DEMA week in November 2011 by PADI’s Project Aware and PADI President Mr Drew Richardson.

###

Notes to editors
About Matava -- Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort
Matava -- Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort, is an eco adventure getaway offering you a fun and unique blend of cultural experiences and adventure activities in the environmentally pristine and remote island of Kadavu in the Fiji Islands. Matava -- Fiji Premier Eco Adventure Resort is a PADI Dive Resort as well as a Project AWARE GoEco Operator. With more than 12 years experience in the Fiji Islands, Matava is recognized as a leading educational dive centre. Matava offers accommodation for up to 22 guests in lush tropical surroundings in traditional thatched Fijian ‘bures’ with hardwood polished floors, louvre windows and private decks offering privacy, comfort and superb ocean views. Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter
For interviews, images or further information please contact Stuart Gow, Stuart@Matava.com, t: 679-997-5416

PADI Dive Centers and Resorts have a powerful new tool to help organize and implement environmental conservation programs -- and be recognized for their efforts -- with the PADI Green Star Award. The program helps PADI Dive Centers and Resorts identify practical actions they can take to protect and preserve the environment. Because they choose which conservation actions they would like to implement, PADI Dive Centers and Resorts can completely customize the program for their businesses. For additional information, contact Roger Josselyn at 800 729 7234 (US and Canada) or +1 949 858 7234 ext. 2519.

Asia Pacific’s first PADI Green Star Award awarded to Matava, Fiji | Matava - Fijis Premier Eco Adventure Resort

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Take a Friend to Fiji for 50% off Matava package: 2nd Person Half Price on Land and Air! | Matava - Fijis Premier Eco Adventure Resort

Matava Summer Special

2nd Person 50% off

Escape to Fiji to Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort and the Second Person stays Half Price !

Valid for travel between 1st December 2011 – 29th February 2012

50% off 2nd person at Matava, FijiDetails:

  • valid for double / twin share
  • ANY Matava Dive, Romance or Adventure Package
  • 5 nights stay or longer
  • All meals and airport transfers included
  • Complimentary Snorkelling on Critter Junction
  • Waterfall hike and village afternoon
  • Lovo feast and kava ceremony

Additions:

  • Fiji Half PriceExtra night – 2nd person half price (based on double occupancy)
  • Extra days diving – 2nd person half price
  • Single Supplement – Waived
  • Based on published package and add on rates
  • Excludes gamefishing and kayaking packages
  • Travel through 29th February 2011 subject to availability
  • Blackout period: travel Between 23rd December 2011 and 29th December 2011 excluded

Air Pacific Special

Take a Friend to Fiji for Half Price Air special.

Air Pacific 50% Sale for 2nd PersonDiscover the wonders of Matava in Fiji and save money on the second person.

For a limited time, 2nd passenger gets 50 % off airfare from Los Angeles on Air Pacific.

From now until March 31, 2012 travel to fabulous Fiji and the second passenger travels for 50% off airfare!

TRAVEL DATES: valid 1 Oct 2011 through 31 March 2012
Sale ends Dec. 31

(No travel on the special airfare permitted during the blackout of 15-Dec-11 to 15-Jan-12)

Book your Escape to Fiji to Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort and the Second Person stays Half Price !


Take a Friend to Fiji for 50% off Matava package: 2nd Person Half Price on Land and Air!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Save our sharks, Miss Fiji to tell pageant

Please support Fiji's Miss Hibiscus at the South Pacific pageant. She is championing the Fiji Shark Campaign as part of her bid to become Miss South Pacific. This is a great way for us to get the message out! Please spread this on all your Facebook, Bebo, Google + and Twitter networks!

You can support her by voting for her at :misssouthpacificpageant.ws/about-us/contestants-2011.html. You can do it once a day so come back again and again to assist the effort of protecting sharks in Fiji.

Miss Hawaii is FAR ahead at the moment, let's get Miss Fiji up there!

FIJI SUN
Save our sharks, Miss Fiji to tell pageant

writer : SITERI SAUVAKACOLO

Miss FijiReigning Miss Vodafone Hibiscus Alisi Rabukawaqa will advocate for the stop to the exploitation of sharks across commercial fisheries at the Miss South Pacific Pageant in Samoa next week.

Hibiscus Event Group Executive secretary Aqela Cakobau in a statement said Miss Rabukawaqa would use the pageant as a platform to advocate for shark protection.

“This issue has prompted me to use the Miss South Pacific Pageant platform to champion the protection of the shark species, a species that is held in high regard (as a totem) in the Pacific, and particularly in Cakaudrove where my mother hails from.

“Sharks have a critical role to play in keeping the marine ecosystem in balance,” the Bua lass said.

“As Pacific island people who rely heavily on our marine resources we must be in the forefront of protecting these resources and support initiatives that drive governmental policy changes to save sharks from extinction and at the same time protect the future health of our seas.”

Preparations began in October for Miss Rabukawaqa. Brothers Craig and Warwick Marlow design her sulu/sarong category wear, award winning designer Epeli Tuibeqa who’s designing her traditionally-inspired category costume, music composer Igelesi Ete is assisting with her talent. Head of Communication at the Fiji National University Shailesh Lal is also working with her on her communication and public speaking skills.

The Hibiscus Event Group is funding all aspects of Miss Fiji’s preparations and trip to Samoa and Pure Fiji is donating gift packs for Miss Fiji’s fellow contestants.

The Miss Fiji entourage will leave for Samoa on Sunday December 4.

The Miss South Pacific Pageant proper will take place on Saturday December 10 at the Samoa Cultural Centre.

Vote for Miss Fiji

Save our sharks, Miss Fiji to tell pageant

Reigning Miss Vodafone Hibiscus Alisi Rabukawaqa will advocate for the stop to the exploitation of sharks across commercial fisheries at the Miss South Pacific Pageant in Samoa next week.

Hibiscus Event Group Executive secretary Aqela Cakobau in a statement said Miss Rabukawaqa would use the pageant as a platform to advocate for shark protection.

“This issue has prompted me to use the Miss South Pacific Pageant platform to champion the protection of the shark species, a species that is held in high regard (as a totem) in the Pacific, and particularly in Cakaudrove where my mother hails from.

“Sharks have a critical role to play in keeping the marine ecosystem in balance,” the Bua lass said.

“As Pacific island people who rely heavily on our marine resources we must be in the forefront of protecting these resources and support initiatives that drive governmental policy changes to save sharks from extinction and at the same time protect the future health of our seas.”

Preparations began in October for Miss Rabukawaqa. Brothers Craig and Warwick Marlow design her sulu/sarong category wear, award winning designer Epeli Tuibeqa who’s designing her traditionally-inspired category costume, music composer Igelesi Ete is assisting with her talent. Head of Communication at the Fiji National University Shailesh Lal is also working with her on her communication and public speaking skills.

The Hibiscus Event Group is funding all aspects of Miss Fiji’s preparations and trip to Samoa and Pure Fiji is donating gift packs for Miss Fiji’s fellow contestants.

The Miss Fiji entourage will leave for Samoa on Sunday December 4.

The Miss South Pacific Pageant proper will take place on Saturday December 10 at the Samoa Cultural Centre.
Please support Fiji's Miss Hibiscus at the South Pacific pageant. She is championing the Shark Campaign as part of her bid to become Miss South Pacific. This is a great way for us to get the message out! Please spread this email around to all you think may be interested.

You can support her by voting for her at
www.misssouthpacificpageant.ws
misssouthpacificpageant.ws/about-us/contestants-2011.html

Miss Hawaii is FAR ahead at the moment, let's get Miss Fiji up there!


Save our sharks, Miss Fiji to tell pageant
FijiSun Newspaper Daily E News

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Sea Save Foundation - Auction Home Page - BiddingForGood Fundraising Auction

The Sea Save Foundation Holiday Auction is now open!

The proceeds will go to Sea Save Foundation in order to support ocean conservation.

Auction items range from exotic diving vacation getaways, diving equipment and gear, underwater photography courses by noted oceanographers, and incredible hand crafted works of art guaranteed to delight and surprise.

So, tell your friends, family, and community. Let the bidding begin!

Sea Save Foundation - Auction Home Page - BiddingForGood Fundraising Auction

Ocean In Focus Contest Winners Announcement

 
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Click on the info icon at the top left of each photo to learn details.
Congratulations to Terry Goss of San Francisco, California, the Grand-Prize winner of the Ocean in Focus Conservation Photo Contest for his image of a blue shark taken off the coast of Rhode Island with a rusted hook protruding from its lower jaw. The shark in this image was caught by a longline fishing vessel, a method of fishing that historically resulted in bycatch of non-target species such as sharks, turtles and seabirds. While the introduction in recent years of circle hooks has reduced bycatch, particularly of turtles, there is more work to be done. Read the interview with Terry Goss>>


For submitting the photograph depicting his personal encounter with one of nature’s most beautiful, but threatened, predators, SeaWeb and Lindblad Expeditions are sending Goss and a friend on a 10-day adventure aboard the National Geographic Endeavor to the Galapagos Islands! Lindblad Expeditions voyages the world in alliance with the National Geographic Society to inspire people to explore and care about the planet.
First Prize goes to Peri Paleracio of Quezon City, the Philippines, for his picture of a boat in the Philippines with plastic and trash pollution suspended in the water. This over-under shot illustrates the often-unseen view of the impact of littering on the ocean. Paleracio will celebrate his win in Fiji with a dive vacation from Matava, Fiji’s Premier Eco-Adventure resort.
George Stoyle and Frank Baensch have both been awarded honorable mentions for their photographs. Stoyle submitted a powerful image of frozen tuna being transferred from a fishing vessel to a carrier vessel. Baensch's image shows the danger posed by abandoned gill nets to coral reef ecosystems and how the nets continue to fish long after the fishermen have left the location. Green Fins Association, Thailand, won the honorable mention prize for the "Most Hopeful" photograph, which demonstrates the infectious power of community-based beach cleanups and how local children can play a role in environmental stewardship.
The Marine Photobank would like to thank the prize donors and supporters, and all the contest participants for submitting compelling photos illustrating human impacts on marine ecosystems, and ones that inspire hope for ocean health. We hope that both of the top prize winners will keep up with the Marine Photobank and tell us all about their travels through photos and stories.
Thank You to Our Prize Donors! Please learn more about these amazing and generous companies by clicking on the logos and links below.
Lindblad Expeditions
Lindblad Expeditions
Matava eco-resort
Backscatter
Native Energy LogoThe Talbot Collection
NativeEnergyBob Talbot Productions
Q-Cells
Q-Ce


Ocean In Focus Contest Winners Announcement

Monday, 21 November 2011

Wind down and enjoy - Review of Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort, Kadavu Island, Fiji - TripAdvisor

My wife I have just returned from Matava. What a great bunch of people. They have such a huge amount of knowledge of the land and marine environment around them lends for a great experience on anything you decide to do whilst at Matava. The accomodation is well laid out and each bure is far enough apart that you can have as much privacy as you need. We went primarily to dive and we weren't disappointing. They have great set up, two main dive boats supported by smaller craft. Very professionally run and able to accomodate divers of any experience level. There planning is impeccable and allows them to offer morning dives, afternoon dive and night dives. We dived extesively inside and outside the Astrolobe Reef. This highlight were the Manta Rays.

The resort keeps things as simple as possible but that doesn't mean you miss out on anything. The quality of food and accomodation was very good. Health and wellbeing is very importatnt to the people there and they are very keen to support any special dietary requirements.

They are great supporters of the local community thorugh the purchase of produce and services. A very large percentage of the resort team are local people which takes the knowledge of the area to an incredible level. People who know what impact weather will have on diving and when you can and cannot dive in certain areas. We achieved a dive with the Mantas twice because of local knowledge of the weather, the conditions weren't placid but we dived and retrieved divers safely and comfortably.

Overall its the best wind downs I've had for a long time and travelling that bit further to Kadavu was worth every minute of travel.

Room Tip: Ask for one of Honeymoon bures. They are on the edge of the resort but that gives fantastic privacy. Be clear with the guys at the resort if you have any limitations on mobility or specifc requirements. They bend over backwards to make suer people get what they need.

Wind down and enjoy - Review of Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort, Kadavu Island, Fiji - TripAdvisor:

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Threatened gentle giants: both species of manta ray added to the IUCN Red List

Manta rays are true gentle giants; though they can grow more than 20 feet wide from wingtip to wingtip, they eat only plankton. Swimming with these animals is a rare thrill for SCUBA divers, and manta-viewing ecotourism is worth over $100 million each year. Like many species of sharks, manta rays grow slowly and reproduce rarely.

According to Dr. Nick Dulvy of the IUCN Shark Specialist Group, “ they give birth to an average of one offspring every two years…they are a long-lived species with little capacity to cope with modern fishing methods.” They also migrate across huge distances, regularly crossing between national boundaries and spending much of their time on the high seas, making management difficult.

Photo credit: David Shiffman (Georgia Aquarium)

Although their biology cannot support a large-scale fishery and their behavior makes any fishery inherently difficult to manage, manta rays are very much in demand. At least part of them is: their gill rakers. According to Lucy Harrison, program officer for the IUCN Shark Specialist group, “Increasing demand for these fishes’ filter-feeding system for traditional Chinese medicinal purposes, especially in Hong Kong, is rapidly driving down their population everywhere.”

By some measures, the global population of manta rays has declined by more than 30% in recent decades, with some local populations facing much larger declines. Earlier this week, an IUCN Shark Specialist Group team led by Andrea Marshall has concluded that both species of manta ray (thegiant manta Manta birostris and the reef manta Manta alfredi) should be declared Vulnerable* to extinction.

The IUCN Shark Specialist Group recommends that several steps be taken to protect mantas from further population declines. These include creating an international conservation treaty for both species, a CITES listing, and national-level policy changes in countries that fish for mantas. Some of these proposals may benefit from the support of the online conservation community, so please stay tuned! I’ll continue to report on these suggested policies as they moves forward.

* “Vulnerable” in the context of an IUCN Red List status should be capitalized, as should other IUCN Red List statuses. For more information on what “Vulnerable” means, please visit the Red List website here.

Threatened gentle giants: both species of manta ray added to the IUCN Red List

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Mad Fish Dive Centeron iDivein.com

If You are dreaming of diving in the kingdom of soft corals You should visit Fiji.

There are just a few places in the world as colorful as the underwater reefs of Fiji. During each dive, you can find any species of fish inhabiting the reefs.

One of the dive bases at Fiji Island is a 5 star PADI Mad Fish Dive Centre. The crew at Mad Fish are a dedicated team of professionals who look forward to guiding you through some of the best dive sites in the world.

They are dive the Great Astrolabe Reef extensively and cater for all levels of diver from beginner to experienced.” Diving is world class, Astrolabe reef, just ten minutes away. Both instructor and divemaster are very helpful and professional” –mention diver from Oslo. This Centre will take You to sites varying in depths, currents and visibility ranging from 20 – 50m where you can expect a kaleidoscope of colorful corals and wonderful marine life. You can find barracuda, manta rays and sharks. Nearby are the world famous dive sites such as Rainbow Reef and Great White Wall.

Rainbow Reef is an extensive area with more than 20 dive sites. The most famous of these is the “White Wall”. Swim through the 60ft tunnel at a depth of only 45ft, you exit on the wall at 90ft to be amazed by the almost luminescent white soft corals extending as far as the eye can see.

Great White Wall is the ideal site for a second dive as you can drift along the reef edge at only 45ft but still be enthralled by the abundance of life and colourful soft corals. “Renowned as one of Fiji’s top dive sites. Prepare to be awestruck by a steep wall that descends endlessly to the bottom, completely smothered in lush white soft coral. Off the deep edge of the wall you will find some pelagics. Often schools of batfish stop by to greet us while we drift along the wall. At the end of the dive is a deep swim-through cavern providing an exciting exit to an amazing dive. “-says Stuart Gow, Director of Matava Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort.

The Golden Chimney is a large coral structure completely covered in golden soft corals, which when blooming light up the entire area.

The Far Side

Dive into this dramatic drop off and drift down the slope into the lower regions of the wall where hammerhead sharks cruise through out of the depths while drifting into the mouth of the passage.

Mad Fish Dive Centeron iDivein.com

Thursday, 8 September 2011

DiveCaching Quick Introduction

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

My new favorite place on the planet! - TripAdvisor

My husband and I spent a week at Matava and were immediately working on ways to stay longer or at least return next year. This is definitely a place to get away from it all and enjoy the real Fiji. Don't expect wireless internet (or even power outlets) in your room, a swimming pool, or white sandy beaches. But if you want to meet great people (staff, locals, and fellow travelers), experience awesome diving, snorkeling, fishing (all deep sea, you can't fish within the reef), kayaking, and hiking, and enjoy some of the freshest, tastiest food around, this is the place to go.

We spent one day fishing, two days diving, one day solo kayaking and snorkeling, and one fabulous day on a guided kayak/snorkel trip that included lunch in a local village and a hike to a waterfall through the rain forest. We also had a nice romantic dinner in our bure one night, and a lovo feast and kava party another.

This is truly the real Fiji, there are very few roads and cars on the island, most of which are located near the airport. Access to the resort is by a 45 minute boat ride over some of the most beautiful waters you've ever seen.

We can't thank Maggie, Cherie, Ta, Cita, Adrian, Glen, Lisa, Tay, Tox, and the whole gang at Matava enough. This was a truly amazing experience that gave a whole new perspective and hopefully lifelong friends.

My new favorite place on the planet! - TripAdvisor

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

International underwater photography grand prix, World ShootOut , will take place worldwide in August 2011

World ShootOut Registration, Participation and Submission throughout the whole month of August, 2011!

Due to an increasing demand for flexibility in World ShootOut dates, we are happy to announce that competition registration, participation and image submission can be carried out throughout the whole month of August, 2011.

Yes, you can register to the competition, capture competition images and submit them to the competition website throughout the whole month of August!

Since it's the first year that the WorldShoot Out takes place, the producer announced a special introductory bonus -

A free set of images in  each category a participant registers to!

Final deadline for competition registration and images submission  is  August 31st, 2011.  It is  recommended, however, to register  ahead in order to avoid any last-minute problems. 

The World ShootOut will take place in August, 2011, in any natural water resource found around the world, including seas, oceans, lakes, rivers, under the ice and more. 
  • 7 creative categories
  •         21 lucky winners
  •         Incredible cash, holiday and equipment prizes
  •         Complete  freedom to choose your own diving destination  
      
More about new rules & regulations, competition time table and further information can be found on the competition website .

Good luck!


World ShootOut Team

www.worldshootout.org