Flying back to Palau fills us all with great anticipation of superlative diving. Big animals, pristine reef, sun filled days and the inevitable desire to never leave. After 3 weeks, all of those anticipatory expectations were not only met, but exceeded.
But there is more than mere diving going on in Palau as attested to by the recent declaration of Palau as the first shark sanctuary area at the UN.
While Palau is serviced by an array of operators it is Fish N Fins who have struggled unrelentingly to make inroads on both a local and international level regarding the issues of marine conservation. From their efforts, the Micronesian Shark Foundation has emerged, as well as educational programs for local schools regarding the benefits of shark preservation and a systematic attempt to debunk the myths of the shark as an insatiable aggressor and man eater. Further, they have established relationships internationally to commence the monitoring of the shark population, their behavior, migratory habits and seasonal changes by tagging and radio monitoring.
These activities demonstrate more than a mere commercial interest in the tourist industry. It is evidence of a firm commitment to both Palau's future and the environment which are inextricably connected.
I mention these issues because as divers we inevitably benefit from such foresight and commitment and inherit the legacy of such efforts every time we dive.
In selecting which dive operation to frequent, it may be of interest to consider these facts.
Of course Fish N Fins has a superlative operation. Their dive boats are pristine and well maintained. The dive guides are attentive, and Tova and Navot Bornovski are gracious and accommodating to all their guests making every effort to ensure that no detail is overlooked. They are well aware that people travel a great distance to fulfill a long held dream of diving in Palau and they are determined not to disappoint them. A last dive to Blue Corner? Let's do it. A night dive ? You're not too tired. then let's see what we can do!
Everyone is well aware of what Palau has to offer. Thanks to Tova and Navot Bornovski of Fish N Fins, that marine heritage is much more secure and waiting there for all of us.