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Fiji Time: 9:49 PM on Monday 21 April

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Shark count on

Ropate Valemei
Thursday, January 24, 2013

SHARK divers have been working round-the-clock to determine shark numbers in Fiji Waters.

And they are now entering data from log books compiled at different locations around the country.

Beqa Adventure Divers' Nanise Ledua said they had finished the Great Fiji Shark Count for the month of November while awaiting the April report from last year.

"There are many log books from different parts of Fiji where divers conducted their shark counting and these feature information on passages, reefs and the open sea," Ms Ledua said.

However, she said it was very hard to collect data on sharks because they were normally spread out along reefs in deep offshore waters. She said only a few were seen at any time and that normal fish counting techniques, which count numbers of fish in a measured area, could not pick up enough sharks to make a realistic assessments of their population.

More than 25 participants took part in the shark counting which was described by Ms Ledua as one of the most successful.

The Great Fiji Shark Count is held across Fiji every April and November.

Ms Ledua said the report needed to be scientifically accurate and this could be the reason for the delay.

"This November counting could be needed by the team for comparison of the scientific analysis," she said. The scientific report will determine the exact number of species of sharks in Fiji waters. The report will also support awareness of the policing of sharks on issues such as their protection from predators such as fishermen.