Saturday, December 31, 2016

Fiji Bull Sharks - full Circle!

Kerstin - intrepid and extremely successful!

Finally!

We've detected two of our pregnant Bulls in one of our rivers!
Despite of our best efforts and more than a dozen years of research into the life history of Fiji's Bull Sharks, coming up with concrete evidence linking Shark Reef to one of the putative river nurseries has always eluded us as the tags would come off and the frequent floods would wash away the receiver arrays. But we've persevered, tinkered with the hardware, tagged a dozen pregnant Bulls in October and deployed new receivers in several rivers - and bingo, and this despite of the horrendous weather and floods a fortnight ago! With this having been little more than a small trial run, expect much, much more of the same next year!

And the river are teeming with babies!
This is obviously recruitment time, and Kerstin and her assistants from Projects Abroad and  the USP are reporting impressive numbers from all monitored rivers - the bad news being that absent any management let alone protection, the little Sharks are being obliterated by the local fishermen. 
This may well explain the disappointing numbers later in the year and is of course cause for grave concern, not least because it is also directly impacting on the long-term viability of Fiji's thriving Shark diving industry. But now that we have the evidence, we shall certainly go and speak to the powers that be - so fingers crossed!

To be continued no doubt.
Happy New Year everybody - may 2017 bring many more fantastic adventures!

6 comments:

Shark Diver said...

Congratulations to Kerstin for getting the data.

Diego Carde├▒osa said...

"The rivers are teeming with babies". REALLY? How about the infamous Navua River? Hahaha Is that one teeming with babies as well? ­čś▒

DaShark said...

El Diego, in fact it is - and there's plenty of juvenile Lemons on the foreshore!
The tally so far is approx 60, 20 of which from the Navua!

The problem being, the fishermen are hammering them = in a few weeks the Sharks will have been fished away! :(

Diego Carde├▒osa said...

Oh right, lemons I can believe! Specially in that other arm of the Navua with a healthy mangrove forest. What about the juvenile bulls, any major differences from my survey?

DaShark said...

The 20 I mentioned are Bulls, and reliable reports tell of several more having been eaten or offered for sale etc!

Like I said, it's a timing issue!

Tilou ├ęcovolontaire said...

That's a great news! Congratulations!
I hope that now you have the evidence that there are baby sharks in those rivers you will be able to make them be protected. Finger crossed