Time may not be on the side of the sharks. But as numbers dwindle to worrying figures, this evening will see the launch of an awareness campaign to save them. The event, which will be attended by the Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, is set for Village 6 cinemas in Suva.
It will include the screening of a 30-minute documentary titled Shark Hope.
The film, says Sharkman Ratu Manoa Rasigatale, is about the plight of Fiji's sharks and the campaign to protect them.
It deals with the vital role of the shark in our marine environment.
Fear them or feel sorry for them. Emotional attachments will mean nothing if we are not aware of their plight.
The shark has existed for 415 million years, having survived the changes of time which the dinosaurs, appearing 185 million years later, could not.
Today some species of sharks are on the verge of extinction.
This has been brought about by the international demand for shark fin, shark meat and liver oil. The Fiji Times is proud to be associated with the campaign to create awareness and dispel rumours and myths hanging over the shark.
Sadly, this great predator of the sea is staring at a bleak future unless people change the way they think about sharks. We have been fortunate enough to have worked with experts and advocates who have helped us understand sharks better.
We now realise the shark, often misunderstood, ensures there is a balance in our marine eco-systems and safeguards our reefs for our future generations.
The Pew Environment Group and The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL), are working with the Fiji government, to pass permanent protection laws to safeguard this ancient predator.
There is no doubt about the fact that a drastic reduction in the number of sharks could cause unpredictable and irreversible damage to the ocean and to economic activities, such as tourism, that benefits from healthy marine habitats.
Scientists believe there are more than 100 million sharks killed annually for fins, meat and other shark products.
Sharks' fins are a billion dollar industry.
Movies like Jaws have never helped sharks and have merely nurtured wrong perceptions about sharks.
Jaws unveiled a monster of the sea.
It placed the fear factor on sharks. This campaign is about putting the shark in its right place.
Let us play our little roles by throwing out myths about sharks and their existence.
Let us remember and acknowledge their important role in our marine eco-system.
The battle to protect sharks starts at home.
Let us make it our fight.