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Fiji Time: 3:01 AM on Sunday 20 April

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Hope for sharks

Samisoni Nabilivalu
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

ATTORNEY-GENERAL Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum told guests last night at the launch of a locally shot shark conservation documentary, Shark Hope, that it would greatly assist government in its decisions on future policies regarding sharks.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum recommended the documentary to guests because it would provide them with a lot of information on the issue of shark conservation.

Funded by the Pew Environment group, the documentary, says Helen Sykes of the Coral Reef Alliance, covers the traditional links of people in Fiji with sharks which dates back thousands of years.

"It will also explain the ecological importance of sharks and the economic importance of sharks and then it's going to address the problems we face with shark populations in Fiji," she said.

"It will explain something about why sharks are being over fished and how that happens and then at the end there will be a call to action for everybody here to help save the sharks in Fiji."

The Coral Reef Alliance is a non-governmental organisation with a base in Fiji that works with community based conservation groups and currently administers the grant from Pew.

Shark conservationist, Ratu Manoa Rasigatale, who was also present at the documentary launch said, "The iTaukei have forgotten that there was once a close bond and relationship between sharks and their ancestors and as a result have slaughtered them in great numbers for money.

"It is, therefore, our responsibility and duty to respect and protect our environment."