Ocean Ventures Fiji Launches Innovative eLearning Certification Programme
With the coronavirus pandemic severely limiting global travel – and causing an almost total shutdown of the tourism industry in Fiji – Ocean Ventures Fiji, a PADI scuba diving operator based in Natewa Bay, has launched its unique coral reef ecology course online
Ocean Ventures' online South Pacific Coral Reef Ecology course was originally launched to coincide with World Oceans Day and World Ocean Week, early in June 2020. The eLearning programme is based around a field ecology course that Ocean Ventures staff have been teaching for some years, and aims to bring the study of coral reef ecology to people who are currently unable to travel due to coronavirus restrictions.
The course begins with an introduction to the importance of coral reefs as ecosystems and discusses the range of biodiversity found within them, including reef fish, marine invertebrates and the coral itself. The programme also covers the linked ecosystems of mangroves and seagrasses and takes a detailed look at the various global threats to the marine environment and the actions being taken to preserve them.
Although most of the course content applies to all coral reefs around the world, it also includes local examples from reefs in the South Pacific, accompanied by underwater photography and videos shot by the Ocean Ventures team among the pristine reefs of Natewa Bay.
The programme is available for US$95 as part of Ocean Ventures' PADI South Pacific Coral Reef Ecology distinctive speciality (which will count towards the PADI Master Scuba Diver Certification) or as a standalone programme for $50. Participants who dive with Ocean Ventures once travel restrictions are lifted will receive a $50 discount on selected dive packages and courses.
The course is hosted on Teachable.com (which uses a secure payment system), and is open to divers, snorkellers, and anybody with an interest in coral reefs and marine conservations, with no pre-requisites for starting.