NATION

Rewa River Could Be Largest Nursery For Endangered Shark Species

  The Rewa River Delta could possibly be the largest nursery ground in the world for the scalloped hammerhead shark, one the most globally threatened shark species. The discovery comes
01 Sep 2016 09:27
Rewa River Could Be Largest Nursery For Endangered Shark Species
Hammerhead shark nursery in the area.

 

The Rewa River Delta could possibly be the largest nursery ground in the world for the scalloped hammerhead shark, one the most globally threatened shark species.

The discovery comes after a team of researchers from the University of the South Pacific (USP) conducted a study on the Rewa Delta with findings and evidence of the existence of a scalloped Hammerhead shark nursery in the area.

The team led by USP’s head of the School of Marine Studies Professor Ciro Rico, compiled their findings and associated data in a report which was handed over to the Permanent Secretary for Fisheries and Forests Samuela Lagataki on Monday.

The official handover of the report was made during the launch of USP’s 2016 Strategic Research Themes by the Minister for Education Mahendra Reddy.

Professor Rico also reiterated the need to preserve the endangered shark species and had put forward recommendations to protect the ecologically.

Mr Lagataki, after receiving the report, lauded USP and Professor Rico for his research doings and delivering his results to the Ministry.

“This Rewa River estuary and lagoon nursery ground may be one of the largest remaining nursery areas within Fiji for the scalloped hammerhead sharks and may be genetically distinct or different from the other nursery or pupping grounds across Viti  Levu and Vanua Levu,” he said.

“It may also be very important because it may still be frequented by the most number of breeding male and female scalloped hammerhead sharks.”

He said the fisheries department was looking to impose a ban or moratorium on fishing across the Rewa River systems and associated habitat units during the breeding seasons.

The scalloped hammerhead sharks’ breeding seasons are in the summer months starting from October 1 until the end of March.

Meanwhile, it is understood that the Ministry is drafting a law that would protect the nursery with more discussions from stakeholders to achieve an agreement. The law would also fulfill the resources requirement of the people whose livelihood depend on the Rewa Delta.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: filipe.naigulevu@fijisun.com.fj

 

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