Waterlife Exporters was formed in 1988, originally doing aquarium fish only. I, Peter Savona, from the island of Malta in the Mediterranean had been involved with this company as the systems designer/collector since 1990. In 1994, Marika K Ralovo, an indigenous Fijian of Suva, Viti Levu and I took over full control and management of this company. Marika and I had lived as neighbours in N.S.W., Australia for many years. I worked in two of the largest, Oceanariums In Australia, the Underwaterworld at Manlyís in Sydney, and the Underwaterworld at Mooloolaba north of the Gold Coast Queensland. Marika and I have been friends for 20 years. Since our partnership Marika has taken control of the Warehouse operations.
We have a 7000 square foot warehouse and a live rock system, coral holding system and fish system.
We have chosen to supply live rock only, due to Airfreight complications in Fiji. We are awaiting the new fleet of planes being bought by our own National Airline (Air Pacific ) to whom we give our first preference.
We have a direct work force of about 30 Indigenous Fijians, mostly villagers, who derive direct income from their own marine resources (live rock) these men on average all have a wife and two to four children . We have spent many years training these men to form several rock collecting crews, who are themselves the customary fishing ground owners, and so they benefit directly form this resource, live rock.
These men brave all conditions to bring this precious commodity to the aquariums of the USA, our company also spends much effort in washing and picking unnecessary critters out, we hold the rock about 2-3weeks in a spray system that keeps the rock damp and allows most unwanted critters out which are then emptied back to the water of which a large percentage survives, or provides a much needed meal for other reef inhabitants.
We try to maintain a certain type of rock with a decent coralline coverage but for various reasons there is some fluctuation unfortunately though the greatest contribution to a drop in Quality is delays in flights which unfortunately is beyond our control.
Nevertheless the live rock has a remarkable recovery rate and once rinsed in clean seawater and placed in a stable aquarium will regenerate in a few weeks to provide a beautiful background to your precious aquariums.
Our landed prices we believe are competitive and almost 73% of that price is airfreight, driven up sharply by the the tragic events of 9/11, and world economy in the last 12 months however as proud Exporters of Genuine Fiji Product we persevere to ensure our men and their families may thrive and their children may get their much needed education and to generate our own capital to further expand into coral propagation thereby reducing wild harvesting to a minimum and when technology is more certain to breed marine fish for the Aquarium Industry as well.
We as a Company have endeavored to partake in cultural gatherings of the villagers we work with, and have had the privilege of assisting in financing the purchase of boats, equipment, and funds needed for the village schools etc.
We are all friends and sometimes sit and drink Kava, a very important traditional and social event amongst Indigenous Fijian Society, a way of relaxing and talking over matters.
From 1994 to 1999 we have exported Aquarium fish and live rock to Australia, New Zealand, Japan, United Kingdom, Canada and the United States of America.
Since 1997 to date we have been shipping between 6600 pounds to 13,000 pounds per week of live rock without fail, except on advice from our buyers. Unfortunately though we have been burnt several times in the U.S.A the latest being MIKE PHALEN, (click on name or thumnail to enlarge photo) OF AQUA DIRECT USA, in Long Beach, Cal, U.S.A, whom currently owes us $US34,000.00.
We are now seeking a Joint Venture partner or reliable prepaying customers. Our pricing and business terms are all outlined clearly and are some are negotiable, our margins on volume weekly sales are minimal despite the undercutting, we guarantee this is a Genuine Fiji Product and guarantee continuity and service to the best of our ability (except in the case of Airline offloads ) We are only able to land our product In Los Angeles Airport, any further will have to be arranged by the buyers.