...and the same question for Pohnpei.

I started this same discussion regarding Kosrae but a new Thread for Pohnpei would attract the direct attention more than an old thread that many will not open given the already lengthy dialog about Kosrae contained therein. So to clarify;

I represent a small group of private individuals, each with an extensive history of experience in the recreational SCUBA industry, from resort and store managers, professional and technical guides as well as marine and ocean media and marketing professionals. In total we number six individuals and are looking to potentially create a dive shop somewhere in Micronesia. My apologies for being vague on that point but we are looking to play our cards close to our chests as it were until we find the location we are happy with.

Our initial interest is in Kosrae but we are also open to looking at other States within the FSM. My question is simple. Beyond the standard paperwork and foreign investment protocol and procedures for the FSM which we are aware of and understand, what are the regional and or cultural implications of this possible venture off the ground in Pohnpei? We understand the local Internet is slow but the majority of web based activities will be handled by a webmaster and servers located outside of the FSM.

With regards to the reefs for diving, are there permissions required from municipalities for diving access? Fees to be paid for the same? Are there any SCUBA related activities that are not permitted within Pohnpei? By that last question I am talking about the potential to set up a Shark diving site.

I know in Palau that baiting sharks is not permitted for divers etc. As one of the media entities within the group it has been my personal experience in South Africa to bait, wait and dive with Tiger Sharks on the East Coast. It is a massive industry with a very niche core of global exponents. Shark Diving is a niche activity within the SCUBA industry generating annual global revenues of around US$300m.

A couple of our Group are also requesting more information on the same scenario but relating to Pohnpei. With the added infrastructure there is there any argument over why potentially Pohnpei would be better, or worse, suited for this venture over Kosrae?

What kind of permissions or hoops for example would have to be jumped through in order to set up a dive site on one of the outer islands where there would be lesser of an issue for local communities who may suggest added risks to local spear fishermen if there is an area with elevated shark numbers. This is one of our main concerns.

Any guidelines for standard house and accommodation rentals would also be welcomed.

In advance, thanks.
Peter

Comments

  • Why not just go there and check it out? Seems you have the majority of questions answered in your Kosrae post?
  • You'v seen one you've seen 'em all.
    You sinned once, you've sinned in all
  • Seriously SCUBA? You are gathering vital information for your business from MicSem Forum? At best, this is only a rumor mill populated by armchair politicians.

    Go here for information: http://www.visitpohnpei.com/ for Pohnpei Visitors Bureau or here http://www.chamber-commerce.net/dir/2908/Pohnpei-Chamber-of-Commerce-in-Kolonia- for Pohnpei Chamber of Commerce.
  • edited May 2016
    Hi @juliet,
    I have emailed the tourism department of Pohnpei numerous times, never to have received a response. I have to look at any source for information if official lines of communication remain silent. Other than telephone numbers, of which we have dialled innumerable times only either to be left hanging or not answered, there are no web resources listed in that link you sent. Where can we discuss better with locals other than this location where we have had good dialog with some folks already?

    Regards,
    Peter.
  • I don't believe you, Peter aka SCUBA. I just got off from the KTA/Kosrae Tourism Authority. The staff is there waiting for your call.
  • Mr. Peter:

    First of all, are you Micronesian? If you are not Micro, then you can't just waltz right in and go about your business. You need to clarify your intended purpose of entry with the Pohnpei State Government, namely the Foreign Investment office. Do that and you'll get your answers.
  • edited May 2016
    @50NGAW I never said that I had called the Kosrae Tourism Authority. I mentioned that I had tried numerous times to email the Pohnpei Tourism office with different levels of success.

    @nansokole I fully understand that. The purpose of my asking questions here is to simply discuss with people in the location some of the broader aspects of the idea. I fully understand the implications and process for Foreign Investment application and procedures within the FSM.

    Thanks,
    Peter
  • First, who is the group of private investors? Seems like you are only trying to find a place to do what is mostly illegal in other countries. This activity has proven to attract sharks to areas where they would not hang around for long and possibly more shark attacks. The last thing we would want is Pohnpei is to see more sharks swimming around where kids swim, fisherman spear, diving and other water activities take place such as snorkeling and surfing. Pohnpei does not have big sharks around the lagoon and we intend to keep it that way. Take your shark bating to your own back yard. Oh sorry, your own government didn't allow you to do it there right? Thanks!.
  • Crap! This is a one shot take it all deal. Just catering to the interest of some friends and partners
  • @mickjagger you ask for the identity of our corporate personnel and then insult us? I'm sorry you feel that way but you're way off base and understanding of any element of this project. We are not looking to break any laws hence being completely open about this on a public forum. You may also wish to research both the fiscal benefit and social safety records in places where such activities are permitted. You'll find zero evidence to link any negative outcomes to indigenous populations. Research and knowledge is always better than blindly flailing with ill perceived notions and imagination.
  • Scuba, i think the issue only would be the baiting. Baiting may take tolls when business is running well with heaps of income coming in. The baiting may take in some opposition if discussions reach official state levels. Taking it out into the outer islands may be much of a lesser concern, but the underlying concern would still be it, regardless of a bigger or smaller population on an island. Local spearfishers would be centered around this concern. I dont know, have you or your company done this elsewhere, whats the concern around it, has there been any unfortunate happenings. Im sure its a good business...
  • I really like the part where you say I unsulted you. So sorry! I know in Hawaii they burned down two boats that were operating as shark dive business. That is how much the local community liked them. The same guy was busted for baiting by the government but was let go on some legal technicality . He was making so much money he had the best legal team in Honolulu or so I heard from a good friend of his. Anyways....just Google search the back record of these business. It could be done now in Pohnpei by the locals. Letting someone like Scuba come and do it would be like letting someone like the Chinese do the sea cucumber. I do know a few people who would do it today. I have a suggestion Scuba. Try Chuuk. Way more sharks there.
  • Mick, we are already engaged in that business. Any foreigner who tries to come and do the same will either be eaten by the local sharks or have his boat used as sharks shelter. Ask Truk Siren operator he is a living witness to it.

    I wouldn't dare if I were you, Scuba. Not in Chuuk.

    Ever heard of bad omen? That's a good example. hahahaha
  • I think getting license or permission to bait sharks here in FSM will be hard because like Palau, FSMs waters are shark sanctuary. From the waters of the Marshalls all the way to Palau have been declared shark sanctuary.
  • But isn't shark baiting sort of feeding sharks rather than killing them? What's wrong with that, not thAt I agree to it, just curious if there is a law violated.
  • edited June 2016
    The other day coming in from Guam to Chuuk I saw a large banner in the Chuuk Airport which promotes sharks too. So if you wanna save the sharks, what better way to save but to feed...
  • @sinbad, the first and fastest decision we made as a collective was not to consider Chuuk as a possible destination for this. Not to ruffle any feathers but there is a strong sense through past foreign business involvement in that particular region, by other entities, that a very real animosity towards the foreign personnel exists. We do not want to place any potential staff into any potential conflict with local folks. We are very driven with a 'Live and let live' attitude.

    With regards to your other point on the FSM Shark sanctuary. Take a look at the Shark feeding activities of Ngermeaus Island in Palau. During lunch breaks with kids, families and all kinds of non swimmers in the water the Korean operators are feeding schools of Blacktip Sharks, and charging their guests to snorkel it. This is being done, and has been done under the very noses of the Koror State Rangers for years now, it's never been closed down and more importantly there has never been a tourist bitten, as far as I know.

    Cast also your eyes to the 'Vertigo' dive site in Yap where they have an established (unofficial) shark feed dive. It's been written about and documented in many an International Dive Magazine, that also has never been shut down and neither has it been the scene of any negative interaction with tourists or locals who fish the region at times when the dive activities are not taking place.

    It may well be a very good option to look at a deserted atoll or small island that could be developed for such an activity. Just an area for surface intervals and no local folks who would be left with sharks to contend with when the divers were not around.

    The search continues.
  • O yes, we do feed sharks here and it is a favorite activity for divers. All that I'm saying here is to save that fir the already established to do it. Enough foreign business taking the small ones from the locals. If you will come to do that, then you are not going to be welcome.

    Engage in something that we have not already started. That's our bread and butter.
  • Thank you for your understanding.
  • @sinbad, no worries, we fully understand and appreciate the local initiatives in all areas of the FSM.
  • Scuba, work thru the States Governor's offices, if you are sure to start your business either in Pohnpei or Kosrae, or even Chuuk. Im sure they'll direct you to the appropriate and concerned entities within the governments to help you out, instead of directly inquiring with a particular agency. Im sure this way itll be much effective to get your information further. Atleast this was how was done for some previous investments/businesses in teh start of the year...
  • @oceania thanks for the tip.
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