Fiji Shark Conservation and Awareness Project

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As the hands of the clock approach midnight for Sharks, organizations working for their protection have joined forces and declared 2009 The International Year of the Shark.
rob allen - beqa adventure divers fiji08The motion aims to raise global awareness of their imminent extinction and the oceanic crisis at hand.

Recent findings of the Global Shark Assessment indicate that at current rates of decline, extinction of the most threatened species of Shark is forecast in 10 to 15 years. In large regions, species that were once numerous have virtually disappeared, in a massacre comparable to that of the buffalo on the North American plains 200 years ago, but on a much larger scale. For example, studies of oceanic Sharks estimate 80 to 90% of heavily fished species are gone. Yet these intelligent animals are still fished intensively, and finned, usually while still alive, for shark fin soup.

As part of the International Year of the Shark, Beqa Adventure Divers and Shark Reef Marine Reserve have partnered with local and international organizations to offer you the Fiji Shark Conservation and Awareness Project.
 

Shark-Free Marina Initiative in Fiji

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SHARK-FREE MARINAS IN FIJI

SFMIKadavu, Fiji Islands - July 09, 2009 - The international Shark-Free Marina Initiative works with marinas, boaters and fishermen to develop policy designed to protect a vital component of the oceans health, our sharks.

The majority of shark species caught by recreational and sport anglers are currently listed by the IUCN as 'Threatened' (or worse) and each year an average of a ½ Million of these sharks are killed in the United States alone.

By encouraging non-lethal 'catch-and-release' shark fishing your patrons and clients can enjoy their sport while ensuring that shark populations are not further diminished. By promoting sustainable practices of ocean management we hope that sharks will be around to keep our oceans healthy for generations to come.

Currently we are working in Fiji at certifying all marinas and charter fishing boats as 'Shark-Free Marinas'. Matava and Bite Me Gamefishing Charters was the first in Fiji to sign up and has agreed to promote, coordinate and distribute information about the Initiative. We hope that Fiji can be the first country to be proud to announce itself as a 'Shark-Free Marinas' Country!

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Denouncing Discovery Communications for Victimizing Sharks for Profit

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This is the first time I sign a petition, ever.

Quite frankly, I've been caught completely unawares and only found out about it when browsing Underwater Thrills during my morning coffee, as I do every day. I'm kinda between homes and countries so I'll have to keep this short.

This is important, but it is only one part of the equation - the other part being that as an Industry, we got to provide for alternatives by working with serious producers and cinematographers in order to come up with better programs.

Since 1987, Discovery Channel has annually presented 'Shark Week.' This week-long series of programs featuring sharks claims to present facts about sharks, and its popularity has earned the company millions of dollars.  In reality, Discovery uses sharks for the horror-show effect that draws a wide audience. Shark Week dramatizes shark attacks, blood and the animals' unusual dentition, to frighten viewers.

We call for an International boycott of all of Shark Week's programs until Discovery Communications stops using sharks dishonestly for profit in horror shows, and starts presenting them as the important marine animals that they are, now in danger of extinction.

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The Best Shark Dive in the World!
  • CITES Implementation Day!
    Today the CITES management of those 7 new species goes live! This is truly a great milestone in Shark conservation. Projects Abroad have been all over it, and celebrated this momentous occasion with a day of awareness, research and education. Well done! And the implementation in Fiji? It's gonna happen - but in the Fijian way. More in a subsequent post!
  • Only Bycatch - Two!
    Turns out that the Tuna longliners have been, gasp, lying! You don't say! Did it really take a "study" to confirm what had been obvious all along and what we here in Fiji had known for years? Anyway. Good that now, it is out in the open - and good that the FFA wants to bring it up and have it banned at the next WCPFC meeting. There will undoubtedly be the usual dirty politics and
  • Scarface and Rusi!
    Terry-fic pic by Terry Goss.   No don't get too excited. This is footage from 2010. We haven't seen Scarface in years and although a very experienced videographer on rebreather reports seeing an enormous Tiger Shark, I fear that she has become the victim of all those pelagic long lines out there. The most interesting bit is at 3:17 where the Bulls, far from being intimidated, are

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