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Shark Bait

Spent a weekend in Pacific Harbor, Fiji. Known as Fiji’s Adventure Center. From there you can kite surf and horseback ride, zip line or go river rafting.  You can also go shark diving which is what I’d come to do.

There are a couple outfits that do this. I chose Aqua-Trek. For 165.00 US you get two dives, snacks and water, and gear which includes a shark repellent wet suit.  By shark repellant, I mean a plain black wet suit, which sharks are attracted to.  That was the line they were feeding us anyway.  


Here’s how the whole adventure works.  They take us out to a site.  All the operations meet at the same place.  We get kitted out with gear and they give us extra weights.  We plunge overboard and they lead us down to a ridge where they have sit on the bottom.  Then they lower down two bins, one of which is suspended about 20 feet off the sea floor.  As you might imagine, after years of this venture, the fish all know what’s going on and they are gathered by the thousands.  It’s a swirl of color. Two divers then take big fish heads out of the bins and start waving them around, and, sure enough, the sharks come.  And they are pretty big, perhaps 10 or 12 feet at the biggest. I know I saw four different kinds.  They are all perfectly content to chow down on fish heads.


Extra divers swim behind us with big sticks, sort of riding herd over us snacks, but the sharks aren’t too interest in us.


We finish after 30 or 40 minutes and take a break in the boat, then head down and do it all again. This time the sharks and fish have all gotten the message and there are more of them. The divers keep pulling out fish heads and the sharks keep coming.  Then just before the end, they open up the suspended bin and 60 gallons of fishy guts spills out, causing a frenzy of activity. If you can get beyond

the thought that fish guts are drifting slowly down upon your head, it is a quiet a sight.

Overall, it was contrived spectacle.   Like monkeys dressed as dolls begging for change in Indonesia, or genital table games in Bangkok,  the shark dive doesn’t really show fish in their natural environment.  

It is,though, an interesting chance to see them up close, though.  If you get a chance, I’d recommend.

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