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  • Pacific Island Times Staff

Protecting sharks in Yap

Manta Ray Bay Resort announces 2019 International Shark Conservation event

Colonia -- On the remote island of Yap in the western Pacific Ocean, sharks have found a safe haven in the surrounding reef thanks to a state law enacted in 2013 that protects sharks, whales and dolphins. Added to the first government-backed sanctuary for the island’s resident population of manta rays five years earlier, Yap has led the world in setting aside 8,243 square miles comprised of 16 main islands and atolls and 145 islets for conservation.

Black tip shark Photo courtesy of Brad Holland

To promote the global state of sharks that inhabit the surrounding ocean, and the methods used to protect them, Manta Ray Bay Resort & Yap Divers is offering special dive packages for 'Yap Divers 4 Sharks' next October 2019.

Sponsored by Divers for Sharks-Brazil, Shark Angels-USA and Shark Project-Germany, the two-week event will feature a shark conservation workshop led by international activists during the first week and, during the second week, an online education workshop for Pacific island students that teaches them about the marine environment and shark ecology. On parade in and around the channels and caverns surrounding the 38 1/2 square mile island will be Grey Reef, Black Tip and the occasional White Tip sharks ranging from three to seven-feet long.

Throughout the event there will be a sunset photo dive, evening media presentations, photo contest, beach party, traditional village dance and eco-tours of the island which is considered the best preserved culture in the Pacific region.

The special MRBR dive package offers a choice of three, four, seven, 10 and 14-night stays that include from four to 22 dives. Prices are exclusive of airfare, which ranges from $729 to $2,699.

“Yap is a big animal ecological reserve and the result is a healthy population of not-that-shy reef sharks that don’t mind divers, cameras, strobes or boats,” said Bill Acker, founder of the small, family-owned, luxury resort and an inductee into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame. “There is no other culture on earth that must be more concerned with conserving the ocean than the Micronesian people,” he adds. “The total landmass of the hundreds of Micronesian islands, if combined, is smaller than Los Angeles, but Micronesia’s blue foot print is about the size of the United States.”


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