Toberua Island Resort Adopts Dive Site in Fiji
One of our boutique resorts, Toberua Island Resort has adopted a dive site and registered it with Project AWARE, a non-profit organisation with 25 years’ experience making a difference for the underwater world.
The resort wanted to protect the reef ecosystem and contribute to sustainable diving practices. Project AWARE’s “Adopt-A-Dive-Site” program allows them to focus on one specific area of the reef by sponsoring monthly cleanup dives of this site.
In conjunction with this initiative, the resort has appointed a new Dive Instructor, Dr. Everette Ingram, who is an experienced educator, a seasoned world traveller and an advocate for the underwater world.
He became a diver in 1993 and crossed into the professional realm in 2005. He has received several accolades from PADI and reached the highest rating of PADI Course Director. He has also been recognised as a “Silver” Course Director for professional development, after training over 300 students last year.
According to Dr. Ingram, a lot of thought went into which dive site the resort should adopt, with initial preference going to the team’s favourite sites on the reef, to ensure they remain in pristine condition.
“Upon evaluating those sites, we were pleasantly surprised at how healthy they are and free of marine debris,” he said. “Toberua Island has an area on the lee of the island which is used by snorkelers, and in a cursory dive in that area, there was some debris found. Some of it may have come from the island, whereas other items of debris may have washed into the area from the mainland.”
“Since this is the first impression of the underwater world by our snorkelers, we want to have that area debris-free and use that as an entry into teaching conservation practices and allowing those snorkelers to become divers.”
The selected site is aptly named the “House Reef” and is easily accessible by both snorkelers and divers. It is home to some soft coral; however, the reef structure is covered with hard corals. Numerous fish species are prevalent, especially juvenile fish and divers can easily spot several different types of sea cucumbers and four different varieties of starfish.
“Because there are patches of sand and grass close to the reef, the site provides a great area for training new divers. Who wants to look at the bottom of a swimming pool, when you can learn to dive while finding Nemo?” Dr. Ingram said.