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Fiji Time: 6:12 AM on Saturday 19 April

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Plan for sharks

Nanise Loanakadavu
Friday, January 25, 2013

FIJI will soon have a National Plan of Action on sharks.

This was confirmed by Department of Fisheries senior fisheries officer Sunia Waqainabete yesterday when questioned on whether a shark sanctuary would be put in place on Nukulau island, especially with the upper Rewa River being a nursery for sharks.

He said at the moment they were looking at managing sharks in Fiji on a small scale.

He said they would need wide consultations among stakeholders to formulate these plans.

Mr Waqainabete said the consultations would enable stakeholders to build a plan for shark conservation and management in Fiji waters.

"At this moment, a shark sanctuary for Fiji is not a priority but to have a National Plan of Action for the Protection of Sharks first," Mr Waqainabete said.

Ian Freeman, fisheries management adviser of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agencies, had earlier said they wanted to ensure shark catches from directed and non-directed fisheries were sustainable and minimised the unutilised incidental catching of sharks.

He said their major concern now is the Oceanic white-tip shark which topped the over fished list in 2011.

He said 939 sharks were caught by Fiji domestic long liners in that year alone.

Mr Waqainabete said the National Action Plan should be finalised soon.