On the fringes of Beqa Lagoon, Shark Reef Marine Reserve was created to study the resident shark population and in turn aid in the long-term conservation of sharks worldwide. It is here, within Shark Reef Marine Reserve, that The Shark Dive takes place.
Imagine a swirling throng of Jacks, Snappers and Groupers. Now throw into the mix up to 8 different species of sharks; Bulls, Tigers, Sicklefin Lemons, Silvertips, Grey Reefs, Whitetip Reefs, Blacktip Reefs, and Tawny Nurses. This is The Shark Dive, truly a ‘shark lovers’ dream come true.
The first Shark Dive takes place on a reef ledge next to the drop off into the abyss of Beqa Passage. Here at a depth of 30m/100ft, the feeders bring in the main attraction; the Bull Sharks. After spending 17 minutes in “The Arena”, it’s time to head on up to the shallows for the 2nd part of the Shark Dive. Up in “The Den”, the smaller shark species, Whitetip Reefs and Blacktip Reefs, can be found circling, completely at ease with the presence of divers. Photo and video opportunities abound throughout the 45-minute Shark Dive.
The hour-long surface interval between each Shark Dive allows plenty of time to change camera films and to relax. Fresh tropical fruits and tea or coffee are always on offer along with friendly Fijian hospitality.
The second Shark Dive takes place halfway down the reef slope at 16m/55ft. ‘The Take Out’ is where most of the feeding occurs. Often times the Tawny Nurses are the first species to feed before giving way to the Bulls. Having become comfortable with the divers’ presence they will approach the feeders before opening their massive jaws to take the bait on offer. Silvertips, Sicklefin Lemons and Grey Reefs come in to feed when the Bulls allow, but if one of the Tigers turn up then even the Bulls give way. Moving slowly and with purpose the Tiger will take food from the feeders’ hands giving the divers a view of one of the oceans’ top predators. A bottom time of about 35 minutes signals the end of the Shark Dive and everyone makes their way up for a safety stop before climbing back onboard the boat.
A short 20-minute boat ride and we are back at the dock, where the staff will take care of your equipment, rinsing and storing it for you. Head on into the dive shop and have your log books stamped, check out the days’ Shark Dive DVD or make your way next door where a light lunch can be had at The Lagoon Resort.
There are countless reports describing this unforgettable experience.
Please read the following selection:
Fiji – Beqa Lagoon Big Fish Encounter, by Rob Allen
Dive Site Directory
Making Fisherman Friends, by Doug Perrine
Shark Reef, by Dive the World
Fabulous Fiji, by Scott Bennett
Trip Advisor Reviews on Beqa Adventure Divers
The Adventurous Side of Fiji, by Michelle Jerson
The “Serious” Sharks of Beqa Lagoon – Fiji 2008 Tour, by Ron Hunter of Dive Forster at Fisherman’s Wharf