Sunday, February 16, 2020

Great Fiji Shark Count - Paper!

Yeah I know I know.
39 dive operators doing 30,668 dives and making 146,304 shark observations on 592 dive sites, and then collating, triaging and analyzing those data is a lot of effort - and the concrete results are comparatively lean. BUT, it was always meant to be long term monitoring in order to detect trends and not a population census, and 5 years are really not that long - so there. 
In any case, thank you and congratulations to everybody involved, be it the participating dive ops, the tourists = citizen scientists, the donors, the project management and finally, the scientists: this has been quite impressive.

The good news?
Compared to other places, our Sharks populations appear to be faring OK - but despite of the recent fin export- and import ban, there is equally still ample room for improvement, especially when it comes to the continued fishing in the Shark nurseries.

As always we shall see.
Fiji's Shark Commitments are due by the end of this year..
Having looked, I notice that last year's mandated progress report is overdue which is not good - but methinks that as always, there will be some frantic last-minute activity to push matters over the finish line, the more as there is simply no way that Frank will accept any failures in an initiative he very much personally and publicly chaired.
So, our fingers are crossed and we continue to be hopeful - at least for now.

But back to the paper.
We have terminated the GFSC as it is just too much work and the management team was frankly getting increasingly frustrated at the lack and quality of participation and data. Also, this is merely a pre-print pending the tedious peer review process - but the raw data will not change, and this is now a great baseline from which one will be able to measure any future developments, be it progress or lack of.

So consider this an important intermediary step.
Should we get the feeling that matters have changed be it for the better or the worse, we will most certainly organize a recount and report about developments. And in the meantime, we here have already initiated new efforts to monitor some important sub-populations about which we shall be reporting shortly.

In the meantime, enjoy the paper.
To be continued no doubt.


Unknown said...

Thanks a lot! This year we did our second Count the Angels event here in the Canary Islands inspired on your work.

DaShark said...

That's great to hear - wishing you the best of success!