Wednesday, May 30

Whales & Dolphins (Smithsonian Handbooks)

A beautifully illustrated guide to every species of whale, dolphin and porpoise. Covers their identification, evolution, biology, behaviour, reproduction and social lives. Includes tips on how and where to watch whales, dolphins and porpoises, and information on their conservation.

From the great illustrations and quick-reference title bar that includes taxonomic, habitat and population information, to the range maps and behavioral information, this book was such a steal. I received this book shortly before starting cetacean surveys in the south pacific and it was an incredible source of information. I have used many field guides and, although I never tested its 'water-proofness", it is simultaneously concise yet complete. It not only gives identification keys for individual species, but also keys to identifying individual animals. If you are a teacher, student, biologist or enthusiast, get it, wherever you are in the world.

Friday, May 25

Employee’s of the Year!

Congratulations to our Male & Female Employee’s of the Year for 2006.

Feroz, our trusted driver and Naomi, our beloved Nanny, have earned the acclaim of being the first Employees of the Year for Paradise.

They earned themselves a large Hamper with goodies and supplies for the family, T-shirt, cap, sulu and an all expenses paid weekend for 2 in Paradise.

Congratulations and well deserved!

Monday, May 21

IE in Paradise!

PADI is sending an IE to Paradise to test our 2 local boys Manasa and Tevita.

The boys have been studying for months now to ensure they pass. When they pass, they will be the first local instructors for Fiji in over 2 years.

We’ll let you know the outcome soon.

Good Luck boys!

Tuesday, May 15

Humpback Whales in Paradise!

A pod of Humpback Whales were spotted as close as 50 meters from the Paradise oceanfront.

Sighted in the morning and again in the afternoon, guests were amazed at the proximity of the whales.

Some of the guests had just returned from a Jet Ski expedition when they were greeted back to Paradise by the gentle giants.

Thursday, May 10

Undersea Productions: Marine Life of Fiji & Tonga, video identification guide

Undersea Productions: Marine Life of Fiji & Tonga, video identification guide

Marine Life of Fiji and Tonga: A Video Identification Guide

Created for divers, snorkellers, aquarists and all underwater enthusiasts.

Includes 2 DVD videos that you can play on your TV or computer PLUS a 16-page reference booklet with line drawings, descriptions and helpful information.

This "V.I.D." Guide (Video ID) covers the incredible marine biodiversity of this fantastic corner of the South Pacific. Beautifully filmed and visually engaging, Marine Life of Fiji & Tonga

contains pretty much every species you are likely to see, catch or hear about when getting wet in this part of the world. Three years and more than 3000 dives in the making, this is both an essential tool and exotic entertainment.

Disc One: FISH including sharks, lionfish, gobies, angelfish, ghost pipefish, rays, eels, butterflyfish, dragonets, seahorses, barracudas, parrotfish...

Disc Two: EVERYTHING ELSE including whales, nudibranchs, corals, octopus, crustaceans, sponges, jellyfish, sea stars, sea snakes, cuttlefish...

More information here...

Wednesday, May 9

Establish a Global Ban on Shark Finning

Petition Target: Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General

It's too barbaric to imagine, but it still happens. Fishermen catch a shark, slice off its fins, and then, cast it back into the water to die. This horrific practice is already prohibited in federal waters of the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Carribbean, but sharks need more protection from finning and other threats.

Your signature can encourage all countries to prepare and implement plans for shark conservation and management as recommended by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

This petition also implores these nations to ban the cruel, wasteful and destructive practice of shark finning in local and international waters. This practice wastes 95-99% of the animal and makes proper management extremely difficult.

Sharks play a critical role in ocean ecosystems. Their numbers are beginning to dwindle. Please help them today!!

Sign Now to encourage Ban Ki-Moon and the UN General Assembly to take action immediately to protect the shark populations across the globe and stop shark finning

Tags follow 'Nemo' fish to home

Tags follow 'Nemo' fish to home

The remarkable homing instincts of some coral reef fish have been revealed.

A team tagged two species of reef fish larvae to see where the juveniles were going after spending weeks and even months maturing in open sea.

It found most of the orange clownfish - made famous by the Finding Nemo movie - and vagabond butterflyfish returned to the reef where they had first hatched.

Writing in the journal Science, the team said the discovery could have implications for marine protection.

"Marine fish lay very small eggs, and when they do, they are released into the water column," explained co-author Professor Geoff Jones from James Cook University in Queensland, Australia.

"They develop into a really tiny little larvae that we think drift around in the water currents, sometimes for months.

"The missing link in our understanding of coral reef fish has always been: where do the larvae go?"

Help from Mum

But until now, finding this out has been extremely tricky - attaching tags to miniscule larvae is not an easy task.

So the international team of researchers tackled the problem by getting the mother to help.

Satellite image of the Kimbe Island  (Science)
The study took place on a small reef in Kimbe Bay
They did this by collecting female coral reef fish from a small 0.3 sq km reef in Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea, and injecting them with a rare, stable barium isotope.

The females pass this isotope to their developing offspring where it accumulates in their bones, giving the baby fish unique chemical signatures.

A few weeks later, the team returned to the reef and collected young fish to test them to see if they carried the "tag".

"We found that 60% - well over half - were coming back to the small island reserve, which was an unexpected result," Professor Jones told the BBC.

Navigational feat

The scientists are uncertain how the vividly coloured orange clownfish and vagabond butterflyfish perform this feat but hope to find out with further research.

An adult butterflyfish (Science and R. Patzner)
"Perhaps they are somehow remaining in sensory contact with their home island and are able to maintain their position and not end up drifting too far away," said Professor Jones.

"Or maybe they are getting carried away, but they have a homing mechanism to swim back to their home reef."

Although the study was carried out on two species, Professor Jones believes the finding may apply to other coral reef fish too, and if this is the case, it could have consequences for marine conservation.

It shows that small no-take marine reserves are a good way to protect over-fished species, he said, because there should be enough juveniles returning to the area to sustain numbers over time.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/05/04 15:14:23 GMT


Saturday, May 5

Resort News - Fiji Travel News

Resort News - Fiji Travel News

"Susies Plantation Resort in Taveuni is now Paradise"

Along with the name change, resort facilities and accommodation has been refurbished, rebuilt and upgraded.

Relaunching their new product, Allan & Terri Gortan have built 4 new Fijian luxury Bures, refurbished the main complex to include the open air, undercover Oceanview Restaurant and Tekiteki Bar and Paradise Gifts.

Paradise Pro Dive is also operating a FULL SERVICE Dive shop overlooking the Resort Marina. A large selection of activities are on offer in Paradise from Spa services to Jet Skiing expeditions, Mountain Trek Horse riding to Kayak Tours… do it all… or nothing at all!

If you’re searching for true Fijian hospitality and long to experience the culture of this mystical land, spend some time in Paradise.

Paradise Taveuni Resort

Tuesday, May 1

Village Festival

Guests and Management were invited to the neighbouring Vuna Village this week.

Allan, named Special Guests the Village elders, and Resort Guests watched as a Meke (Traditional Fijian Dance) was performed and were offered food cooked in a traditional lovo (underground).

The Village was raising funds for the local children.