Volunteering for Marine Conservation in Fiji.
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Bull shark swimming with fish

DayOne Design Studio is proud to be sponsoring Sam Franks, aged 19, on his Marine Conservation and PADI Dive Master internship in Fiji by donating his underwater camera equipment. We caught up with him before he left to find out more about it.

This is the 1st blog post in the Fiji series.

Sam, where are you going and what will you be doing?

I’m staying on a tiny Fijian island called Caqalai (pronounced thang-a-lie) where I will be surveying many underwater sites for the levels of coral, fish and invertebrates. Although I will be in Fiji for six months it is a long-term five-year study being run by Global Vision International (GVI).

What is the purpose of the research?

The nearby island of Moturiki has lots of villages that all depend greatly on the reef for fishing. So, we are surveying 28 sites around the island to build a database and look for patterns regarding what different species are commonly found together and how the reef changes throughout the island. It is also used to analyse how fishing effects the reef.

What are you most looking forward to, apart from the weather!

During time-off we will have the opportunity to investigate other parts of Fiji’s marine habitats. I’m especially looking forward to going to Snake Island, which is the home to hundreds of sea snakes, and also to go to some of the shark hot-spots. One of my ambitions is to dive with sharks.

Any particular sharks you would like to see?

I’m sure there will be plenty of reef sharks, but I’d definitely love to see a Hammerhead shark!

Who’s funding your trip?

I finished my A-Levels in summer 2017 and have spent the last year working as a barista in Starbucks on the A299 Thanet Way, Faversham, to save enough money for my flights, lodgings and all the equipment I will need. I worked really hard there, learned a lot, and even got a store-first: 100% secret-shopper score. Plus, one customer was so happy with their service from me, I was awarded a place on the Starbucks Hall of Fame! I owe Vespa a big ‘Thank You’ for donating the underwater camera I needed for my trip.

And how will this expedition help you in life?

It already has. I have been offered a place at Plymouth University to study Marine Sciences on my return. I’m sure that this trip was a contributing factor in being offered a place. 

If you are interested in learning more about the GVI expedition, here is the link: https://www.gvi.co.uk/volunteer-in-fiji/

Thanks Sam, we’ll be posting updates and photos from you on our blog over the next six-months, so keep us updated – and we expect plenty of photos!

Click here to read the next blog in the series

Marine conservation
Feeding food to sharks