Shark Reef Marine Reserve was established in April 2004 and is the first of its kind in Fiji, namely, a protected sanctuary for the Sharks. The Reserve serves several purposes: protecting habitat and sharks, but is also a way to involve local parties in shark conservation. the traditional owners of the reef, the villages of Wainiyabia and Galoa. Both villages have agreed to relinquish their respective fishing rights to Shark Reef and in exchange, every diver who participates on The Shark Dive pays a ‘Shark Reef Marine Reserve Levy’ of FJD $20. This money is collected by Beqa Adventure Divers and deposited monthly into each village’s community bank account.
After 5 years, it is not any more only a question of providing cash flow to the community: even the initially sceptical fishermen love the reserve to death, as the Reserve has become saturated with big Fish and the resulting spillover has lead to substantially increased fishing yields on the neighbouring unprotected reefs. A Win-Win Situation for Sharks AND People!