The Great Fiji Shark Count!

Posted on April 11, 2012
Written by: Shark Savers
Tags: SharksCount Projekt 

SS_Poster1_inshore_sm.jpgShark Savers is pleased to be both a sponsor and participant in the Great Fiji Shark Count. This ‘count’ is the first major partnership of our own recently initiated citizen science database of shark sightings as part of our SharksCount Program.

For the Fiji effort, we designed and produced the shark ID sheets and posters using photos from many excellent marine photographers, consulted on data collection methodologies and diver-outreach, and we are promoting the importance of the count at many dive events and shows this year. Shark Savers will be there in force in November to film as we count sharks, yet again.

The Great Fiji Shark Count is easy and is not restricted to SCUBA divers. You can count sharks while you dive, snorkel, or fish (preferably catch and release), whether you are a local Fijian or a visitor. More than thirty resorts and dive operators in Fiji have signed on to participate.

The data that is collected during the Shark Count will help to map shark distribution and abundance in Fiji for the first time. Importantly, via Shark Savers, the exact locations of valuable sharks will only be shared with scientific and conservation-planning partners in order to protect these important, local shark populations. Because sharks, as apex predators, are vital to maintaining healthy and balanced marine food webs, the information may also be used to infer patterns of marine ecosystem health.

The results of this survey will be used to help support and design ways to protect sharks in Fiji. The survey will be repeated on a regular basis to help identify population trends and to monitor the effectiveness of shark protection measures. The data will also be incorporated into our international SharksCount database.

Consider joining us in November when we conduct the second Great Fiji Shark Count!