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US Scientists Find New Marine Species In Savusavu

US Scientists Find New  Marine Species In Savusavu
From left; Biology Professor Peter Ward of the University of Washington in Seattle, Marine Biology Professor Gregory Barord of the Central Campus Iowa in United States and Fisheries director Aisake Batibasaga in Suva on July 30, 2018. Photo: Swashna Chand
August 01
11:00 2018

A new species of nautiluses (an aquatic species) was found last week in Savusavu by scientists from the United States of America.

Director of Fisheries Aisake Batibasaga made the remarks during a press conference at Takayawa Building in Toorak, Suva.

“The new species found are scientifically named Nautilus Vitiensis,” said Mr Batibasaga.

“The four nautiluses found in Savusavu were different from other species of nautiluses found in Vanuatu and Samoa. The nautiluses were marked and released back to the sea”.

The two United States scientists, Peter Ward and Gregory Barord, had studied the nautilus species here in 2013.

They returned this year to see the changes in the species over the past five years.

Mr Batibasaga said that there is a domestic regulation in place that protects the nautilus under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) governed and administered by the Ministry of Environment.

Mr Barord said the characteristics of the new species of nautiluses were different from the rest of the nautiluses especially in the shell and animal inside.

According to Mr Barord, the nautilus plays a role in food chains. Nautiluses consume shrimp, crabs, and fish, and in turn are eaten by fish, sea mammals and octopuses.

They also provide aesthetic value for people.

Mr Ward said international protection for nautiluses came into action after the species were threatened by trade because of the increased demand for its shells as a result of its unique designs.

“The beautiful shell of the nautilus is used as jewelleries and as ornaments by people and are sold,” he said.

Edted by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: swashna.chand@fijisun.com.fj

 

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