Fiji Shark Conservation Project turns one year old
Projects Abroad Fiji celebrated the one year anniversary of our Shark Conservation Project on the 8th of January 2015.
“This is a great milestone for us, and we’re thrilled with what we have managed to achieve in just one year,” says Marine Conservation Director Ingrid Sprake. “The work and the research we do here assists global shark scientists in their studies, and ultimately informs government policies that lead to greater shark protection.”
Volunteers and staff in Fiji, locally known as Shark Warriors, celebrated the occasion by planting 365 mangrove saplings, one for each day that the project has been running. Cakes, as well as local foods such as lovo and kava were shared as part of the celebrations.
Contributing to global research
Volunteers travel to Fiji to study the sharks endemic to the tropical waters. The volunteers get to work with some leading marine biologists to help understand sharks, which are an increasingly endangered species. Projects Abroad has also partnered with WWF’s Global Shark Programme as part of this endeavor. Volunteers spend time diving in the waters of Fiji to conduct shark counts and ecological surveys and are also involved in tagging baby sharks, and the reforestation of the mangrove forests.
As apex predators, sharks play a vital role in maintaining the balance of oceanic ecosystems. As part of a larger conservation drive, Projects Abroad is running a Global Shark Campaign, which aims to promote awareness and action around these valuable creatures, which are often caught as buy-products of fishing trawlers, or hunted for shark fin soup.
“We are at the forefront of shark conservation in Fiji,” says Ingrid. “And we’re excited about the upcoming year, if this is what we can achieve in such a short space of time.”
Read more information on the valuable work being done at the Shark Conservation Project.