Tova Harel Bornovski
Tova Harel Bornovski is the founder and President of the Micronesian Shark Foundation, the owner and general manager of Fish 'N Fins, the Ocean Hunter fleet, Okeanos restaurant and Palau Helicopters. Having travelled around the world, learned different languages and dived different oceans, she has developed an infinite appreciation of the ocean and its delicate ecosystems. She sailed from Florida to Palau with her husband and two toddler children. The family settled in Palau in 1993 and had two more children. Tova developed a deep love for the local culture, flora, and fauna. The realization of the mistreatment of sharks both locally and internationally as well as the lack of knowledge about many species led Tova to establish the Micronesian Shark Foundation in 2002. Via MSF, Tova initiated the first shark research in Palau in order to collect, distribute and analyze data that could be used for shark regional protection. Tova created the first shark count in Micronesia, where tour operators and volunteers count sharks and gather other information (species, gender, markings, depth, water temp. etc.), generating shark data results and assisting with shark protection through government organizations. Through the collection of DNA samples, the documentation of illegal shark finning in Palau, and the development of the shark count data procedures, Tova gathered a significant compilation of data. School education in Palau and the Micronesian region has been in process since 2010 as well as publishing children shark books and drawing competitions.
Tova started her writing career as a journalist for a leading Israeli daily, had a short story published in a short stories collection and a genuine Palau cook book. Another book is in the process that combines ocean, food and short stories. Tova and her husband published a Palau diving and snorkeling guide book in 2012 and a second edition in March 2015. They are in the process of building the first self-sustained Eco Resort in Palau.
Tova was indicted to the Women Divers Hall of Fame in 2013 and is assisting and sponsoring young Palauans and residents that are interested with marine conservation.