The King of the Sea:Making Fiji a Shark Sanctuary 1
Sharks have existed in the worlds oceans for around 400 million years. (Before, during and after Dinosaurs) Until recently, nothing hunted them.
Sharks help maintain balanced, healthymarine resources by controlling fish and other marine life under them.
Sharks do not give birth until they are 7 to 12years old, and then only usually have 1 to 10babies. This means that if they are fished,their numbers drop very quickly.Most other kinds of fish breed when they aremuch younger, and have hundreds of babies,so they are not so badly affected by fishing.
DakuwaqaFijian people have strong traditional links to sharks.Dakuwaqa is still respected in Fijian mythology, as he protects his people from harm in the sea.His image survives in the art of new Fijian generations
Shark Tourism Values in Fiji Many tourists come to Fiji to dive (12%), snorkel (60%) or swim Tourists love to see sharks! 96% of divers sharks in top 3 things to see 42% of divers sharks THE most important thing they had come to seeThe value of living sharks is a big part of the value of Fiji Tourism, a billion dollar industry, and of the FJ$150+ million/year earned for the country in tax.
Live sharks are important to Fiji• Maintain a healthy balance on the reef and open ocean • Culturally significant • Provide tourism $ for the economy of Fiji 7
Commercial fishing represents the greatest threat to sharks There are reported declines in shark populations of up to 70-80% globally.Morgan, A.C., 2010.Sharks: The State of the Science, 8Ocean Science Division, Pew Environment Group, Washington, DC
Up to 73 million sharks are killed annually to support shark fin trading. The valueless bodies are usually discarded. Morgan, A.C., 2010. Sharks: The State of the Science, 9 Ocean Science Division, Pew Environment Group, Washington, DC
How Shark Fins are used• Shredded cartilage in Shark Fin soup – primarily Chinese weddings • Remedies for arthritis - Chondroitin & Glucosamine tablets
Sharks in Fiji 35 of these shark species spend most of their lives 58 species of shark have been along the coast and reefs of reported in Fiji Waters Fiji, and are often caught by Most are in danger of extinction commercial fishers. ENDANGERED Long term DATA DEFICIENT Oceanic residents VULNERABLE (complete life- cycle within Fiji)LEAST CONCERN NEAR THREATENED Move widely in region (visit Fiji reefs and coasts)
Historical By-Catch Shark Fishery in Fiji In the past sharks were caught as By-catch of the Tuna Longline Fishery. Most were caught alive (blue line) but almost 90% were killed and their fins taken (red line). By-catch fins profit crew rather than boat owners Year # Sharks Number Number Percent observed caught Caught Finned caught dead Alive 1999 434 1 28 86% 2002 75 7 58 78% 2003 277 29 218 89% 2004 451 62 339 90% 2005 892 172 720 89%
Targeted Shark FisheryIn the past few years the shark fishery has changed from by-catch to a specificallytargeted fishery, benefiting export firms, and numbers taken are increasing. On 29 March 2011 a film crew visited one of six Shark-fin and Sea Cucumber export warehouses in Suva
Recent Targeted Shark Fin trade in Fiji Photos taken in Suva 29 March 2011 Traders claimed they could deliver ONE TONNE (1,000 Kg) of DRIED Shark FIN per month
Recent Targeted Shark Fin trade in Fiji Photos taken in Suva 29 March 2011 Background: Over 100 bags, most of Beche de Mer (Sea Cucumber) with about 35 bags of shark fins. Foreground: 3 piles of shark fins with about 3,000 fins in each pile.About 9,000 fins,(= 2,250 sharks), plus 35 bags
Species found in Shark Fin Warehouse in Fiji: Photos taken in Suva 29 March 2011. Black Tip Reef Shark Carcharhinus melanopterusOceanic Whitetip Shark Bull SharkCarcharhinus longimanus Carcharhinus leucas
Sharks Fins Drying in Fiji Warehouse Oceanic Whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus) Status: Vulnerable* Blue sharks (Prionace glauca) Status: Near Threatened* Silky sharks (Carcharhinus falciformis) Status: Near Threatened* * According to the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Photo taken: 29 March 2011, Suva, Fiji
The Fiji Shark Sanctuary Campaign Supporting the Fiji Government’s initiative to create a shark sanctuary across the entire Fiji EEZ, a first for the South Pacific.Campaign Aims:• An end to the trade in shark products, and to all commercial shark fishing in Fiji• Declaration of the Fijian EEZ as a shark sanctuary, where all shark species are protected
Methods of the Campaign Research into Shark Densities, Habitats & Nurseries Supplying data to Government to strengthen conservation initiatives Media campaigns Securing support from Traditional Leaders, the GeneralPublic, the Tourism Industry, & Conservation Organisations
Awareness RaisingMedia articles, District meetings, School visits, Posters,
Logo for T shirts, Stickers Etc30 Minute Documentary
Taking part in the Fiji Shark CampaignSupport enforcement of shark fishing banPosters: Please display prominentlyCommunities and Organisations: send Letters of Support toCORAL, PO Box 2558, Govt Bdgs, Suva, or Email email@example.comIndividuals: Sign the pledge at www.facebook.com/FijiSharkDefenders
The choice is oursMaroroya Save the na Qio Sharks of e Viti Fiji