Scuba Diving with Sharks at Aqua Trek in Beqa Lagoon

I recently had one of the most exciting dives in my life at Beqa Lagoon in Fiji with the team of Aquatrek. I had simply a blast, diving with 8 different species of sharks in the same dive site. Insane? Amazing? Exciting? Fantastic? You Bet!

So I decided to have a quick chat/interview with the team of Aquatrek Fiji

Gabriel here from Scuba Herald… to start, tell us a bit about the history behind Aquatrek…

When did you started and who is the team behind your diving operation?

Aqua-Trek opened Fiji’s first PADI 5-Star Instructor Development center in 1987. In 1989 Aqua-Trek developed Fiji’s first shark dive off the Mamanuca Islands in Western Fiji. In 1999 Aqua-Trek developed what is now known as the #1 Shark Dive in the World, in Beqa Lagoon. Over the last 20+ years Aqua-Trek has been one of Fiji’s premier dive operators serving divers all over Fiji.  Our Beqa facility is comprised of top notch PADI trained instructors and dive masters all trained to uphold a high quality standard of service and safety for divers.

During the years, Fiji has become a key destination for divers worldwide,  can you please ell us why do you think  Divers keep choosing Fiji for their diving holidays.. Why Fiji?

Fiji is a destination that provides divers and non-divers with an amazing overall memorable vacation experience.  Fiji is a romantic, beautiful, pristine country with amazing beaches and lush landscapes. It offers world-class diving and a huge variety land based adventures. The country is rich culture and tradition and the people are genuinely friendly, caring, happy people. And it is very affordable! The US dollar is currently worth 2 FJD!

We well  that you offer a very unique type of diving experience…. Tell us a bit about shark diving at Beqa Lagoon.

Yes, aside from beautiful soft coral diving, Aqua-Trek Beqa is famous for its Ultimate Shark Encounter dive. This dive was developed by me, Brandon Paige.  In 1999 I began dumping food on an area of dead reef to see what would turn up. Much to my excitement, I had attracted 8 species of shark including massive bull sharks and tiger sharks! There were times I had 40+ sharks on one dive. I trained my staff to work with the sharks and we began offering this exciting dive to our dive guests. It’s been over 10 years now and our dive is now recognized internationally as being one of the best shark dives in the world.  We have a pristine safety record and we are proud to say that we have contributed to the conservation of sharks by educating people.

I understand that you have also created shark conservation program to protect sharks in Fiji?

I created these dives to educate divers on sharks and shark behavior. Sharks are endangered due to shark finning and the sale of shark products. Sharks are a vital part of a healthy marine ecosystem. Without sharks the entire ecosystem will break down die. Sharks have long been portrayed as mindless eating machines and a threat to humans.

In reality sharks are intelligent, graceful denizens of the oceans. After the shark dives were developed, we set out to protect them and created the Aqua-Trek Shark Conservation and Sustainable Tourism Program. We worked with the villages that own the reef rights and the Fiji government to declare both Shark Reef, Lake Reef and the corridor in between marine protected areas (no fishing zones). Each diver pays a fee to dive these areas and this money goes directly to the villages that own the reef rights. This provides the villages with sustainable income. The program supports the involvement of the community in the management of natural resources and it allows them to realize the economic potential as well as the sustainable livelihood that can be derived from conserving and protecting their resources.

This program has been recognized internationally as being a model for other island nations. It has received two international conservation awards from the World Travel and Tourism Council and SKAL International. We are currently working hard to pass legislation in Fiji to ban shark fishing and the sale of shark products.

Do divers need any previous experience to dive with sharks? Yes. The Ultimate Shark Encounter is a high energy dive with a lot of sharks and a lot of fish. There is a lot going on. Divers need to be comfortable in the water and with their gear. They need to be able to pay attention to the dive masters. We recommend certified divers have that level of experience and comfort so they can enjoy and appreciate the dive.

What can you tell us about the sharks in this area…. ?

Aqua-Trek’s Beqa shark dive is the only dive where divers can see up to 8 species of shark. Grey reef, whitetip, blacktip, silvertip, nurse, lemon, bull sharks and tiger sharks. Our dive gets multiple bull sharks, some of the largest anywhere.  The elusive Tiger shark too. There is an interesting hierarchy amongst the different shark species. When the tiger shark arrives, it is like the queen has arrived. All the other sharks disperse so she can feed.  This dive also brings in over 300 species of fish. We get Napoleon wrasse and the rare Queensland grouper.

We know many people reading this interview would love to dive with sharks… for all the divers out there that haven’t dive with sharks yet, can you “try” to describe for us this type of experience?

We have a full description on our website at .. but you can also see a teaser… at

Where do you see Aquatrek in the next years?

In Fiji, where we’ve been for over 20 years, but only in the best locations for divers!

Can you tell us in 5 words what diving with Aquatrek is all about? (only 5 !)

Quality, Comfort, Safety, Expertise, Fun!!

Wan to have a chat with the guys of Aquatrek? Contact them today…

Aqua-Trek Reservations

USA Toll Free: 1-800-541-4334

Direct: 415-728-7076

1 Comment

  1. Hi, i’m an instructor from the UK. I spent 6 months working in Fiji and did the Beqa shark dive during my last week there, it was amazing! Nice control by the DMs, felt safe at all times, and the sharks were absolutely immense, so many of them about!! Definitely regret not doing it sooner and would recommend it very highly to anyone thinking about going. Also head up to Taveuni, one of the Northern islands and dive the Great White Wall whilst you’re there! Only thing I think would have been great at Beqa would be maybe a short talk before of after the dive about the shark conservation they do there. There was a very good briefing before the dive, but a bit of info about the work they do with the locals would have been really interesting.

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