In February of 2016, two Chinese long line fishing vessels were sitting in Suva harbour waiting to be demolished and turned into scrap and debris. Instead of creating 2 shiploads (literally) of waste, there was an idea to put them to better use. What better way to recycle fishing vessels than to turn them into artificial reefs? The long liners were brought to the Naviti region in the Yasawas where they could fulfil this purpose.
One of the ships, named Glory, sits just a 10 minute boat ride south of Barefoot Manta with a maximum depth of 24m, while the other ship, named Navigator, sits 10 minutes to the west of Barefoot Manta at a maximum depth of 32 m. Since the sinking in 2016, the two 40m long ships have been attracting both fish and coral life. Over 30 species of fish, including the spadefish that follow you down the mooring line, groupers camouflaging themselves to catch unsuspecting prey, and even some butterfly fish now call the wrecks home.
Penetration of both wreck sites is possible, but don’t be frightened if you see a large red snapper staring back at you when you enter one of the hull compartments. While the Navigator shipwreck is more for the advanced diver (or divers doing their advanced course) because of the depth, Glory shipwreck is suitable for all levels of diving and divers will be accompanied with an SSI Instructor if not advanced.