26 Jan 2009

In Memory of an Ocean Champion and Fearless Friend Vasemaca Rarabici

In Memory of an Ocean Champion and Fearless Friend

Vasemaca Rarabici

Fiji Program Associate, Asia Pacific Program, SeaWeb

May 17, 1975 – December 30, 2008

Vasemaca with daughter Annie

Va Rarabici with her daughter, Annie. Suva, Fiji, April 2008. Betty Oala, SeaWeb

Vasemaca Rarabici joined SeaWeb in early 2007 after a successful career as a journalist in Fiji, where she worked for the three local daily newspapers and rose to the rank of deputy editor of the Fiji Sun and later the Sunday editor of the Fiji Times. At SeaWeb, Va discovered a powerful outlet for her love of her islands and for her well-honed communication skills. Indeed, despite a prolonged illness, Va’s passion and dedication helped build a foundation for SeaWeb’s success in the Asia Pacific for years to come.

For those who knew her, Va’s powerful personality and energy were inescapable. Va was a force of nature­–a bright, laughing, creative, determined force. And that laugh was loud, wonderfully loud, and infectious. Even if you got used to it, it still caught you off guard with its abundance of energy and joy. Indeed, Va was a rare person: intense yet lighthearted, focused yet free-spirited, she inspired the people around her and held our Asia Pacific team together.

Va accomplished much. As the heartfelt messages from our partners in Fiji illustrate (some comments enclosed below), people deeply appreciated her work and her efforts. With Va’s guidance, community leaders, scientists and government officials in Fiji have become stalwart spokespeople for the oceans and for protecting Pacific places and traditions. While SeaWeb as an organization is skilled in communications, we were not experts in the culture of Fiji. When our Asia Pacific Program first began, Va’s understanding of what would resonate in her home islands and her many strong relationships in the communities made this program successful.Truly, Va has helped elevate the discussion of ocean issues in Fiji at a phenomenal pace. We have never seen as much media coverage of ocean issues in Fiji as we do today.

Read full tribute page for Va here: SeaWeb - Ocean Voices

21 Jan 2009

Sharks And Diving Tank Problems

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Sing this song in your cubicle at work

Fiji’s Tourism industry has been largely unaffected by the recent flooding

20th of January 2009


Tourism Fiji in collaboration with key industry partners including the Fiji Islands Hotel and Tourism Association (FIHTA), Society of Fiji Travel Associates (SOFTA) and Air Pacific confirmed that the necessary infrastructure, facilities and equipment to operate Fiji’s Tourism industry has been largely unaffected by the recent flooding with only minor damage reported by member Hotels, Resorts, Transport, Transfer and Cruise Operators, and International and Domestic airlines.

The industry is unified in its efforts and working hard to reassure visitor’s considering travel to Fiji to take advantage of Fiji’s tropical climate, excellent deals and of course to enjoy Fiji’s biggest asset – it’s warm, friendly people.

Key strategies to lure visitors to our shores include wide ranging familiarization visits commencing early next week to key tourism areas by prominent Travel Wholesalers, Travel Agents and Trade Press to demonstrate first hand the experiences Fiji has to offer. This will be followed up by great value holiday deals initially in the key source markets of Australia and New Zealand driven by Tourism Fiji and its partners.

In a meeting with the Minister for Tourism on Monday, the Minister reinforced his support for the industry and assured stakeholders that Government will facilitate road upgrading and other necessary infrastructure works to key Tourism areas as a priority. Government recognizes the resilience of the Tourism industry, its ability to quickly facilitate economic recovery, and its widespread importance to the local community.

The private sector continues to invest heavily in the industry with new hotel developments coming on line this year and new routes being opened up by Air Pacific.

Fiji’s Tourism Industry offers a wide range of Holiday experiences for local and international tourists, and support to Fiji’s tourism industry is critical to generate important foreign exchange enabling assistance to areas that have sustained damage by flooding.

The Tourism industry acknowledges and thanks the support offered by Government and global industry partners and will continue to cooperate closely with key stakeholders to achieve targeted visitor arrivals. The industry also realizes the importance of working with the media and seeks their support in the recovery process.

For further information please contact:

Mr Josefa Tuamoto
Chief Executive Officer
Tourism Fiji
Phone: 6722433

Fiji’s Tourism industry has been largely unaffected by the recent flooding

8 Jan 2009

2009 - Year Of The Shark

… was inspired by the finding that at the current rate, common shark species will be extinct
in 10 to 15 years. In large regions, species that were once numerous have fallen to 1% of
their original numbers. Studies of open ocean sharks estimate 80 to 90% of heavily fished
species are gone. Yet these intelligent animals, also called the “Wolves of the Sea” are still
fished intensively, and finned for “shark fin soup.” The oceans have evolved over hundreds of
millions of years with sharks as apex predators, so their loss will destroy oceanic health.


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2009 - Year Of The Shark