Caption: The mighty SeaView anchored along the Tabua Reef in the Mamanuca waters close to Malolo Island.Photo: SUPPLIED
By ASHTOSH SINGH
It was a scene of unfolding colorful exposure when the newly built underwater viewing vessel ‘The SeaView’ was officially launched yesterday by the Minister for Tourism Mr Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum at Port Denerau Marinna Nadi.
The SeaView is an all new 18m long 4.2m wide semi-submersible underwater viewing vessel which has been 100% built in Fiji to specifically for the marine tourism market in the country.
“Our company is excited to move into the next stage and start operations of the SeaView at Tabua Reef,” said CEO of the company, Mr Robert Van Der Moigg.
The SeaView has a 47 pax plus crew total capacity and boasts full air-conditioning, surround sound Audio and Video system, 30 underwater LED light arrays as well as 14 supersized viewing windows which magnify and widen the outside view of corals and fishes moving freely making one feel entering a new world.
Minister of Tourism and Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum while launching the The Seaview said,” it was a wonderful partnership between stakeholders that the members of the Qoliqoli and a private business company have come together not just to create jobs and business but at the same time trying to protect the environment”.
The AG also related the message of the importance for the conservation of out reefs and coral and its importance to the people of Fiji.
The Melanesian Trading Company Ltd, trading as South Sea Subs, are the owners of the new underwater viewing vessel. The vessel itself represents an investment of approx F$ 1.8 million by the company and will operate in Mamanuca waters close to Malolo Island in an area called ‘Tabua Reef’ which with the help of the traditional owners of the rightful fishing grounds (Qoliqoli) the Vanua o Nakovacake has be made an MPA (Marine Protected Area).
Meanwhile, the company has also worked with the Ministry of Fisheries to train several of the Nakovacake villagers to become Fish Wardens so that they can monitor and control fishing practices in their fishing grounds.