FIJI plays a leading role in the global fight against the unsustainable killing of sharks and rays, says Luke Warwick, a senior associate in the Pew Charitable Trusts' global shark conservation initiative.
The trust — a US-based not-for profit NGO — is one of the world's leading advocates for the conservation of endangered species such as sharks and rays.
Mr Warwick said Fiji's commitment to the cause was commendable.
"Pew worked with the Fijian Government and Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) to hold a meeting in Nadi in August where Governments from all over the Pacific learned about the 21 sharks and rays proposed for protection at the Conference of Parties which will be held in Ecuador in November," he said.
"Fiji is playing a leadership role to try and protect sharks and rays internationally and has proposed the listing of reef manta and mobula rays on CMS, and is strongly supporting the listing of silky, thresher and hammerhead sharks."
Pew has been in Fiji since 2011, working closely with the Coral Reef Alliance and the Government to explore domestic options for managing sharks.
The primary focus of the NGO's work has been on supporting Fiji to meet international obligations in regards to sharks.
"It isn't just at CMS where Fiji is becoming a champion, Fiji is also leading the way to help governments across the Pacific implement recent shark listings on the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora (CITES).
"The Fijian Government and Pew co-hosted a workshop in Nadi in February where shark experts from all over the world worked with Pacific governments to learn about the new CITES rules, and the ways sharks can be protected."