ELEGANT, intelligent, loved and feared.
From the deepest, darkest abyss in the world's oceans to the light-blue waters closer to home, the shark has existed for 415 million years, surviving the changes of time which the dinosaurs, appearing 185 million years later, could not.
Today, these creatures are on the brink of extinction.
The demand for shark's fin, shark meat, liver oil and other products has drastically reduced shark population around the world, including our islands.
The Fiji Times joins a massive campaign led by the Pew Environment Group and The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL), which are working with the Fiji Government, to pass permanent protection law to safeguard this ancient predator, whose existence has helped maintain a balance in our marine ecosystems, safeguarding our reefs for our future generations and providing a valuable asset to Fiji's economy. The loss of sharks could cause unpredictable and irreversible damage to the ocean and to economic activities, such as tourism, that benefits from healthy marine habitats.
On Monday, The Fiji Times starts a series on sharks, their relationship with our islands, and why we must maintain a mutual agreement our ancestors made to protect our resources in the seas around us.