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Scuba Diving in Fiji
Dive Site: Shark Fin Reef
Location: Beqa Lagoon, Pacific Harbour, Vitu Levu
Depth: 34 metres (112 feet)
Visibility: 25 metres (82 feet)
No sooner had I immersed myself a fast swarm of giant trevallys were circling me, many 1m in length. Descended, three grey reef sharks were already on the scene and a lemon shark, minutes later from the corner of my eye a big grey sluggish bull shark appeared in the distance and out of nowhere a 1.5m giant grouper was right in front of us, he was beautiful. My buddy and I were squealing down our regs and pointing stuff out. It was awesome. Then behind me another bull shark, and the other one was coming closer. Surprisingly I felt relaxed, probably because I was so overwhelmed. After hanging onto a chain and being circled by one too many sharks it was time to ascend along the reef wall. I was constantly checking for bull sharks behind me while getting sucked on by an over friendly ramora!
Wicked dive but I feel as though I should add additional info for the sake of the coral reef environment. While I am thoroughly honoured to have dived with these absolutely magnificent creatures I am also unfortunate to witness a reef totally destructed by man. Sharks seem visit this site not because of a prolific reef but because the dive operation does a shark feed each week. My dive was not a shark feed and I do not agree with them. I felt that how these sharks interacted with divers was unnatural and their reliance for food from humans leaves me with the thought of what happens if these dive Centers stop feeding them. The reef is in poor condition and I doubt the abundance of fish would be there if it wasn't for the feeds.
If you do participate in a Shark Feed at this site you will probably see around 30 sharks but apparently the viz gets so messed up with all the feed that you don't actually see that much.
Carina Hall, PADI Divemaster
The dives at Shark Fin Reef were some of the most spectacular I have ever done. Grey, whitetip and blacktip reef sharks were all present in huge numbers. The swirls of trevally and red snapper did block the view slightly, but we were nonetheless treated to great views of tawny nurse, sicklefin lemon and bull sharks feeding, with a large tiger shark showing up during our safety stop as the icing on a very sweet cake!!!
Having done the same dive but on a feeding day I have to disagree with the comment about the viz - its pretty much as good as can be; they feed fish heads, not chum or a mixture so it is not so bad. Other than that I totally agree - on the feeding day you can expect to see half a dozen bulls, maybe a tiger, lemon and nurse sharks, and dozens of white-tip, blacktip and grey reef sharks - definitely recommended!
I have dived Shark Fin Reef 5 times, 4 on a shark feed and 1 non shark feed. The dive is superb which ever way you do it and the bull sharks are all tagged for conservation study. The corals are not fantastic but this is due to the location of the reef as much as diver impact.
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