Eremasi GVI Fiji

This week on ‘An Interview with WiseOceans’ we spoke with the team from GVI Fiji

Names and roles: Eremasi Sobatabua – Boat Marshal, Samuela Taraival – Boat Captain, Taione Delai – Science Coordinator, Waisea Fereti – Boat Marshal

Company: Global Vision International – Fji

Top Tips: Never take the ocean for granted, enjoy every moment and go for it!

Quick Fire Questions

1. What inspired you to pursue a career in marine conservation? 

Eremasi – The project is located in my own village, I want to help in saving the oceans as I am passionate about this. I enjoy being on boats out on the reefs I am very familiar with. 

Samuela – Growing up in a coastal area I quickly developed clear reef knowledge and have spent my life driving boats, fishing and understanding life at sea. 

Taione – I have always spent time in the sea, free diving all my life being a village boy from Fiji. I started diving because I have been diving all my life and 14 years ago an NGO started on my island. I started working with GVI 11 years ago out on the Yasawa islands.

Waisea – Growing up in a coastal area where our oceans play a vital role in our everyday lives I knew that I wanted to develop my career in marine conservation. 

2. What steps did you take or are you currently taking to achieve your career goals?

Eremasi – I come from the local village in which the program is running from and because my family are fishermen by trade I had the boat skills required.

Samuela – I come from the local fishing village in which the program is running from and because my family are fishermen by trade I had the boat and coral reef skills required.

Taione – My passion grew from being born on a south pacific island and my fascination to the ocean. I have been learning new skills while working with GVI.

Waisea – I come from the local village in which the program is running from and because my family are fishermen by trade I had the boat and reef skills required.

3. How did you obtain your current position? 

Eremasi – I applied for the job advertised by GVI in my village and was successful due to my boat skills.

Samuela – I knew I had the correct skills required for the job role, I wanted to be the captain as I have been a captain of my own fishing boat for 10 years. I was glad that GVI was employing locally and upskilling the local community.

Taione – I had previous marine conservation experience as I have been in this field my whole life. The job was advertised locally and I knew I had the skills required I also worked for GVI in the Yasawas previously so I moved to Dawasamu. 

Waisea – I applied for the job advertised by GVI in my village and was successful due to my boat skills and local reef knowledge.

4. Which part of your job do you enjoy the most?  

Eremasi – Being out on sea and assisting volunteers in diving.

Samuela – Driving the boat and feeling like part of the ocean.

Taione – I enjoy it when volunteers start surveying and they know what they are looking for, this shows that I have taught them well and seeing my knowledge reflect through them is exciting.

Waisea – Seeing how exciting it is for new volunteers to discover the beauty of underwater life and listening to their stories of what was seen during their dives.

5. Are there aspects of your position which make you feel that you are really ‘making a difference’? 

Eremasi – All aspects in the roles that we play and when we are all working as a team this aids the projects and our projects help to preserve our oceans.

Samuela – All aspects in the roles that we play and when we are all working as a team this aids the projects and our projects help to preserve our oceans. The team spirit at GVI and the excitement to protect the ocean is making a difference.

Taione – After spending my whole life diving all over Fiji, seeing hand on hand the effects that climate change has on the ocean such as coral bleaching and seeing how rapidly marine life is changing. Knowing we are playing a role at preventing further damage is exciting to me as I know we are making a difference.

Waisea – All aspects in the roles that we play and when we are all working as a team this aids the projects and our projects help to preserve our oceans. 

6. What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were starting out?

Eremasi – How important safety is during diving.

Samuela – Knowledge on marine biology, this is something that my interest has grown on.

Taione – How quickly the reefs are deteriorating. 

Waisea – That some of our reefs are dying and aid is needed.

7. Are there any skills you never thought you would need but did?

Eremasi – I now understand the safety of diving and ensuring all health and safety needs are met.

Samuela – Volunteer management, ensuring they are on time, being safe, happy and that they are in good hands.

Taiome – Volunteer management, learning to understand volunteers expectations.

Waisea – Taking photos!! Dolphins are fast animals.

8. What advice would you give to budding marine conservationists?  

Eremasi – To enjoy every moment out on sea.

Samuela – To ensure all health and safety needs are met at all times and to always go for it. 

Taione – I am very lucky as I am doing this in my home where I grew up and preserve my own reef, the advice I would give advice to another conservationist is to stay and see the changes you are making hand on hand.

Waisea – To never take the ocean for granted, and to ensure all health and safety needs are met at all times.

9. What is your favourite marine creature and why?

Eremasi – Dolphin – because I love them jumping and doing backflips at sea.

Samuela – All creatures!!

Taione – Manta ray, because I feel like one when I dive.

Waisea – Octopus! Interesting creatures.

10. What is your most unforgettable moment in the sea?

Eremasi – Being with the volunteers during surface interval and discussing what exciting marine species we saw.

Samuela – Free diving with my family as a child off the reef.

Taione – Way too many to say!! Anything involving manta rays!

Waisea – Hearing that the divers had seen loads of octopus!

“Knowing we are playing a role at preventing further damage is exciting to me, as I know we are making a difference.”

Taione Delai

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