Apr 16, 2010

Matava is the First Resort to achieve Shark Safe Certification

Shark Safe  ProgramMatava is the First Resort to achieve Shark Safe Certification

Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort and The Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education take a leading role in the world with a major shark conservation initiative in the resort and tourism community.

KADAVU, FIJI ISLANDS - 14 April 2010 - Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco-Adventure Resort is proud to take a world wide leading role in the the international Shark Safe Certification program by becoming the first resort to be certified Shark Safe.
Shark Safe certification program

The mission of the Shark Safe certification program is to protect oceanic ecosystems by encouraging practices that do not negatively impact shark populations. By increasing public awareness of the need for shark conservation, we endeavor to change the way people think about sharks, thereby reducing the sale, use, and trade of shark products.

Shark Safe  ProgramThe Shark Safe certification program uses an easily recognizable logo to endorse restaurants and select businesses that distinguish themselves through their manifest dedication to shark conservation. Establishments earning Shark Safe status may proudly display the logo to attract customers. The logo also serves to engage dialogue from patrons, thereby further promoting awareness of shark and ocean conservation.

Matava Director Stuart Gow said "We have worked hard over the past few years to ensure that all the food, not just the fish, within our resturant 'The Terrace' here at Matava are sustainable and natural"

"Matava, and our on site fishing charters Bite Me Gamefishing Charters, are the first in Fiji to sign up and be awarded certification. We are now actively promoting, coordinating and distributing information about the Shark Safe certification program around Fiji." he continued.

Goals of the Shark Safe certification program:
  • Increase public awareness of the need for shark conservation.
  • Reduce the sale, use, and trade of shark products. Shark Safe certification is designed to give discerning customers confidence that their choices help protect sharks.
Restaurants and businesses recognized as Shark Safe have met scientific criteria and stringent guidelines, and they are awarded the authorization to display the Shark Safe logo. The logo and its associated recognition and prestige will help attract customers to the business.

Since sharks are universally recognizable and tend to attract attention, customers and passers-by not already familiar with the program will still be drawn to the displayed logo and will be inquisitive. Participating establishments can provide literature about the Shark Safe program, explain the basic premises, and direct people to the sharksafe.org website.

Christopher Chin, Executive Director and Founder of COARE and the Shark Safe Ceritifcation programsaid "We're thrilled to be working with Matava. For them, conservation and sustainability are not mere bylines, but a deeply held philosophy. The world would truly be a better place if more resorts were to follow Matava's lead."

Beginning with the city of San Francisco and neighboring towns and cities, COARE and WildAid are organizing a campaign to increase awareness of shark finning and the deleterious effects of sharkfin soup consumption.The   Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education (COARE)

The ultimate goal of this campaign is to encourage both communities and the city administrations to embrace a requirement that any shark fins used come from legal and sustainable fisheries.

As part of this project, COARE is proud to offer Shark Safe certification to businesses that distinguish themselves through their dedication to shark conservation.

Bite Me Gamefishing Chartersactively avoids fishing for any species of shark and encourages this practice to be followed by all. By encouraging non-lethal 'catch-and-release' shark fishing fishermen and those sharks inevitably caught accidentally can enjoy their sport while ensuring that shark populations are not further diminished. By promoting sustainable practices of ocean management we hope that sharks will be around to keep our oceans healthy for generations to come.

"At Matava, and Bite Me Gamefishing Charters we are of course both happy and proud to be spearheading this initiative in the South Pacific and indeed the World" said Matava Director and Bite Me Gamefishing Charter Captain, Captain Adrian Watt.

Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco-Adventure Resort Captain Watt finished by saying "We would like to thank all friends and clients of Matava and Bite Me Gamefishing Charterspast and present who have contributed to the success of our ecotourism principles and the resort and we look forward to exciting times ahead."

The Shark Safe certification program is a featured project of COARE: The Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education. COARE is a tax-exempt nonprofit organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area whose purpose is to study our oceans and increase public awareness of the earth's marine environment through educational programs and outreach. To learn more about COARE and our other projects, visit www.coare.org.

Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort, is an eco adventure getaway offering you a fun and unique blend of cultural experiences and adventure activities in the environmentally pristine and remote island of Kadavu in the Fiji Islands. Matava - Fiji Premier Eco Adventure Resort is a PADI 5 Star Dive Resort as well as a Project AWARE GoEco Operator. With more than 14 years experience in the Fiji Islands, Matava is recognized as a leading educational dive centre. Matava offers accommodation for up to 22 guests in lush tropical surroundings in traditional thatched Fijian 'bures' with hardwood polished floors, louvre windows and private decks offering privacy, comfort and superb ocean views.

Bite-Me Gamefishing Chartersis our on-site IGFA game fishing specialists offering the best of superb record breaking blue water game fishing for tuna, wahoo, sailfish and marlin. As an active member of IGFAand The Billfish Association we advocate tag and release of all billfish and Trevally not deemed to be a National or World Record.

Matava is the First Resort to achieve Shark Safe Certification - Matava - Fijis Premier Eco Adventure Resort

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