Protecting Fiji's Sharks
Since February 2011, our team has been working on the ground, alongside the Fijian people, to raise support for shark protection. Because effective conservation requires collaboration, we have been engaging and educating local stakeholders from the confederacies, provinces, districts, and villages to ensure long-lasting protection for sharks.
Sharks have long held a place of respect and worship in Fiji and today, they support a thriving tourism industry built largely on shark diving. Past efforts to legally protect them from local and international fishing pressures, however, were met with resistance. Thanks in part to the recent wave of shark sanctuary designations around the world, however, the desire to protect Fiji's sharks is gaining strength.
|Meeting with Ratu Epenisa Cakobau, high chief of Bau Village and the Kubuna Confederacy, who has given his support for shark protection|
Fiji's Department of Fisheries and Forests confirmed that it is reviewing Fiji's fisheries laws and is considering revisions that would include a ban on the trade of all shark fins and other products derived from any shark captured in Fijian waters. If these revisions move forward, it would make Fiji the first Melanesian country to approve such comprehensive protection for these iconic animals.
Legal protections are only the first step. The second—and perhaps most important step—is making sure new policies are effectively implemented. We will work with the Fijian people to make sure communities are aware of Fiji's investment in shark protections and know how to ensure their success.