The Fiji BAD boys and girls
Our Staff: Who’s who and what they do!!
Rusiate Balenagasau (Fiji, Beqa Island)
‘Rusi’ has gained quite a loyal following among divers that visit Fiji. Diving for 20+ years from both land and liveaboard; Rusi has amassed well over 15,000 dives in the Fijian Archipelago and is easy to spot; he’s the man in the yellow hood!! Rusi is a Boat Captain and a Senior Feeder on The Shark Dive, happiest when eye to eye with one of our regular animals. With his intimate knowledge of the underwater world, Rusi can show you things that you would otherwise miss.
Manasa Bulivou (Fiji, Beqa Island)
‘Papa’ has been diving for 15+ years and is our Senior Boat Captain. He was instrumental in aiding the set up of Shark Reef Marine Reserve, and is an official Fish Warden helping to protect the local waters. Manasa is also one of our Senior Feeders on The Shark Dive, and loves to share his passion for the animals with everyone who dives with us. In traditional Fijian culture, Manasa is a ‘Spokesman’ from his home village of Rukua, and is never one to shy away from telling a story!
Ratu Kolinio Biautubukoso (Fiji, Beqa Island)
‘Tubee’ came through the ranks in 2006 and joined the team full time in ’07. No stranger to the company, Tubee is Manasa’s son, he quickly mastered the art of diving and how to handle the sharks. Tubee runs the 30m feed and can also be witnessed with the sharks at 15m.
Silio Raqatima (Fiji, Lau Group)
Silio completed our Internship program in 2008 and became an official BAD Boy in 2009. Silio is a wizard behind the video camera and films all of our Shark Dive excursions. Recently he has passed the camera on and started to learn the skills required for the 30m feed.
Netani Vuda (Fiji, Yasawas)
Netani has been piloting boats around the waters of Beqa Lagoon for many years. As an experienced boat captain, Netani takes charge of MV Hunter, one of our Bladerunner Catamarans. Netani really knows these local waters having previously captained fishing, surfing and diving charters throughout the region.
Fabiano Damudamu (Fiji, Galoa)
‘Fabi’ passed through our internship training program in 2009. Fabi has a voracious appetite to learn and shows great promise as a critter finder for the future. Never one to hold back a smile, Fabi is often found mid-water on The Shark Dive dropping the occasional tuna head to his finny friends below.
Semiti Vuibureta (Fiji, Lau Group)
‘Miti’ began his time with BAD in 2011. Originally joining us as part of our Island Trip operation he has since transferred into the diving side of things and is a welcome addition to the team. He has a keen eye to spot the weird and wonderful on the reefs of Beqa Lagoon and plays a key role in assisting the less experienced divers on The Shark Dive excursion.
Aceni Moce (Fiji, Kadavu)
Having spent many years plying the waters of the Mamanucas, Capt. Aceni headed down the Coral Coast to join us in Pacific Harbour in 2011. Aceni is one of our designated boat captains; one day we might just be able to convince him to give SCUBA a try and experience witnessing what our clients do every day.
Jone Bouwalu (Fiji, Lau Group)
Jone has the ocean in his blood. From a family of mariners, it is little surprise that Jone followed the same path. A highly experienced boat captain with many hours of piloting vessels throughout Fiji, Jone returned to Pacific Harbour and joined us in 2012. As a PADI certified diver, Whenever he gets the opportunity, Jone hops in the water for a quick dip at Shark Reef Marine Reserve.
A gentle giant – with the patience of a saint is how his students describe him. Jone is a highly experienced MSDT and teaches a range of PADI courses from Open Water up to the first professional ranking of Divemaster. Jone takes enormous pleasure and pride in watching divers experience SCUBA for the first time in these stunning Fijian waters.
‘Ben’ a former Mr Fiji bodybuilding champion is one of our in-house marine biologists. With degrees in Marine Sciences from Montpellier, France and USP in Suva; Ben really does know his stuff. Ben, along with Manoa, is an integral part of the SRMR research program. Responsibilities include data gathering on The Shark Dive, shark tissue sample collection for DNA work and running our bi-annual Great Fiji Shark Count program.
Manoa joined the team in mid-2013. Since earning his degree in Marine Biology from the USP, Manoa has been educating visitors to Fiji about its marine environment. Education and outreach are still a key part of his role with BAD, Manoa also works within the SRMR gathering data on the sharks that are present during the dive and collecting tissue samples for DNA work.
Apimeleki Taukei (Fiji, Galoa)
‘Api’ progressed through our annual internship program in conjunction with our partner village Galoa in 2013 and became a full-time member of the BAD boys in 2014. Api has incredibly keen eyes for the more cryptic animals to be found in the Beqa waters and loves nothing more than to share these finds with his diving buddies.
One of the latest additions to the team, ‘Wase’ is also from Galoa Village. After successfully completing his internship training in 2014, Wase earned himself a full-time position with the team. Possessing one of the widest smiles, Wase is hard to miss grinning away whilst assisting divers enjoying their time on our vessels Predator & Hunter.
Elia Leawere (Fiji, Galoa)
Elia passed through our 2014 internship program with Wase and started working full-time in 2015. Maybe a feeder in the making, Elia is keen to learn as much as possible about the shark population at Shark Reef Marine Reserve.
Setaraki Mavoa (Fiji, Beqa Island)
‘Mavoa’ completed his internship along with Api in 2013 and joined the team in 2014. It was not difficult for Mavoa to fit in – after all he is Rusi’s son! Only time will tell if he can carry the mantle of being a feeder – things do look promising so far with Mavoa on the mid-water food bin and feeder safety diver.
Salesh Chand (Fiji, Navua)
Our ‘behind the scenes’ workhorse, Salesh performs many of the tasks that our clients do not see. From the maintenance of the dive base, vehicles and boats to ensuring our freezers are stocked with tuna heads for The Shark Dive. Salesh is an integral cog in the BAD wheel of operations, though not yet a diver; one day we will take Salesh to see first hand where all these tuna heads go!
Anaseini Ledua (Fiji, Lau Group)
Trying to find someone to help Nani with the administration side of BAD was no easy task; in time, we found the perfect candidate. It’s not simply that Ana has a degree in Economics from the USP and possesses the friendly Fijian charm of the islands; she is also Nani’s younger sister and knows what BAD is all about.
Nanise Ledua (Fiji, Lau Group)
‘Nani’ is our Front Desk Co-coordinator and Receptionist; for many of you, when you call us it will be Nani’s friendly voice on the other end of the phone. Taking care of business in the office and retail shop takes up most of her days, though when she gets the chance, Nani, can be found diving the blue waters of Beqa Lagoon and her favourite, The Shark Dive.
Andrew Cumming (U.K., Edinburgh)
As Beqa Adventure Divers’ Operations Manager, Andrew is responsible for the day to day running of the operation and keeping the wheels turning. Andrew joins the BAD Team in making Beqa Adventure Divers the premier diving destination in Fiji. Andrew is also an experienced PADI MSDT and is always on hand to offer advice and answer any questions that a diver may have.