Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hammerheads in the Rewa!

Releasing juvenile scalloped hammerheads back into the estuary after taking length, weight, and other measurements. Photo Credit: Kelly T. Brown

Nice to see Kelly looking at Fiji's rivers!

This ties in directly with what we found in 2009.
The result were a university report by Victor and then a proper peer-reviewed paper in 2010, plus
this feature on MaiTV. In essence, what Juerg and his co-authors have discovered is that most rivers harbor juvenile Bulls and that several feature juvenile Hammerheads in the estauaries.

This is really important information.
With the Sanctuary looming (fingers crossed!), Sharks in Fiji will hopefully be protected from targeted fishing - but with such a large percentage succumbing to incidental catches, we really need to get more information about Shark philopatry and hotspots, of which the nurseries are obviously one of the most important examples.

Juvenile HH, possibly Scalloped, caught and killed incidentally by fisherman, Navua River

Once we can determine the specific locations and time frames, we can then concentrate on establishing local seasonal fishing bans (prohibiting all fishing or maybe only specific gear etc), something that is much easier to attain compared to full no-take MPAs.

With that in mind, Kelly's research is a great beginning.
So best of success and also, best of luck in securing the necessary funding for making this an ongoing undertaking!

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