NEWS

10 Dead Baby Hammerhead Sharks Found: Fishermen Warned

Hammerhead sharks are listed in the Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species (CITES) Appendix 2 listing and penalties for those in breach range from $20,000.00 to $100,000.00 or two years imprisonment.
07 Feb 2019 16:58
10 Dead Baby Hammerhead Sharks Found: Fishermen Warned
One of the dead baby hammerhead shark that was found by fish vendors near Nokonoko, Laucala Beach. Photo: Simione Haravanua

Fishermen have been warned to stop killing sharks as they are an endangered species. The warning comes from the Ministry of Fisheries after the discovery of 10 baby Hammerhead sharks. They were found by fish vendors along Nokonoko Road at Laucala Beach, Suva.

There are regulations in place which stipulates the need for sharks to be protected and this is clearly articulated in the Offshore Fisheries Management Act and the Offshore Fisheries Management Regulations (2014).

Minister for Fisheries, Semi Koroilavesau said that fishermen need to adhere to the regulations in place or face hefty penalties and even jail terms if found guilty of killing sharks.

“Hammerhead sharks are listed in the Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species (CITES) Appendix 2 listing and penalties for those in breach range from $20,000.00 to $100,000.00 or two years imprisonment.

“Shark breeding season is from September to April and these are the summer months where juveniles enter estuaries for protection. The baby sharks which were found could have been caught through gillnets that were set up by fishermen along the mangrove areas in Laucala Beach or right at the mouth of the
river,” said Mr Koroilavesau.

A Nokonoko resident points to where the dead hammerhead baby sharks were found. Photo: Simione Haravanua

A Nokonoko resident points to where the dead hammerhead baby sharks were found. Photo: Simione Haravanua

Director Fisheries, Aisake Batibasaga said baby sharks will be prevalent in the river systems as they look for food as well as safety from bigger ocean predators.

“Let us stop killing them unnecessarily as they definitely play a huge role in the marine eco-system as well as maintaining healthy reef systems.”

Investigations will be conducted by ministry officials.

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