Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Sharks in the Navua River - Paper!

Zero gravitas: Kira, Josh and El Diego - source.

Remember Victor?

Sure you do - that's the dude who  investigated the presence of Sharks in Fiji's rivers using LEK and TEK and later on, by fishing for Sharks in the nearby Navua.
Back then I said that there needed to be follow-up.

And there has been, and here is the paper.
Courtesy of Project Abroad's Shark Program, it documents a further extensive LEK survey along with 385 hours of fishing that yielded 2 juvenile Sicklefin Lemons and two juvenile Scalloped Hammers in the estuary, plus only a measly 9 juvenile Bull Sharks - meaning that a) either the breathy hype was totally unwarranted or b) that El Diego actually knows what he's doing but that something has changed compared to 2010 when Victor was able to catch 5 Bulls in a fraction of that time.

My vote goes to the latter - reluctantly!
Once again, the bloody peer review has nixed what I believe is the most important aspect, i.e. that in the meantime, the Navua has been subjected to massive dredging for gravel in mid-river, along with further dredging at the river mouth. Think that maybe, there could be a correlation with the reduction in juveniles as this may have spooked the pregnant females and/or chased away the juveniles and/or  destroyed important nursery habitat?
But who I am to say - right?

Anyway, the investigation continues.
Keep watching this space!

PS - and talking of possible Shark nurseries in Fiji, read this!
       Very well done Tom!

1 comment:

Tom Vierus said...

Indeed Mike, it is a pitty they have wiped out the possible correlation with the dredging. Once the damn dredging starts in the Ba river, who knows what will be left in ten years time?