Monday, March 02, 2015

Migrating Bull Sharks in Australia - Paper!

Read this!

Very interesting!
If I compare what is happening on the East coast of Australia with our observations, I would not at all be surprised if our Bulls displayed the same behavior! 
We know that they are not resident, and although overall, they spend more than half of the time inside of the Fiji Shark Corridor, individual differences are very pronounced and sometimes, certain individuals disappear for weeks if not months which could very well be due to the fact that they may be engaging in prolonged and wide ranging migrations - certainly within Fiji and quite possibly, albeit much more rarely, even further as documented by that genetic analysis from 2012 . 
And then, there's that mysterious regular dip in numbers in April which leads me to believe that something attractive is going on elsewhere, possibly some irresistible spawning aggregation or the like.

Alas, it doesn't look like we're gonna find out anytime soon.
Our Bull Sharks are our pals, and we will neither fish them in order to screw on SPOT tags or insert tags into their abdominal cavity, nor will we tag them conventionally as long as the process will condemn them to a life carrying those anchors that keep irritating the muscle tissue.  
Years ago, I was hoping that somebody would develop a less invasive attachment - but I've resigned myself that most Sharks are not tame like ours that can be tagged on the fly underwater but that instead, they need to first get caught. And then, the new SPOT tags with single bolts and/or the insertion of the acoustic tags are perfectly OK, meaning that realistically, nobody is gonna bother developing something specifically for an obscure micro-project in Fiji.

C'est la vie.
All our research has always been conducted on a need-to-know basis, i.e. initially in order to investigate the effectiveness of the SRMR and later, the Fiji Shark Corridor in protecting our Sharks, with the result being that it ranges from excellent for e.g. the Reef Whitetips to satisfactory for e.g. the Bulls to poor for the Tigers. 
And now that the SRMR is cemented into law, the next challenge will be to determine the most efficient and effective way to optimize that protection by enacting Fiji-wide conservation and/or management measures. No I'm pretty much certain that it will not be a Sanctuary so you guys out there, please don't bother as all you will achieve is to piss everybody off and likely make matters even more difficult than they already are. If at all, there will be a Fijian solution - something that will take time and patience, and require that all stakeholders get something and nobody everything.
And I will certainly leave it at that.

But I'm obviously digressing.
To be continued no doubt!

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