Fiji moves a step closer to shark protection

The island nation of Fiji is finalising plans to join destinations like Palau and become a shark sanctuary.

Sanaila Naqali, the government’s Director of Fisheries has confirmed the proposal’s for the sanctuary will be put before the Cabinet on June 19. The proposals state the idea to turn Fiji’s entire 1.2 million square kilometre Economic Exclusive Zone (basically its national waters) into a shark sanctuary.

The island’s lucrative tuna fishing industry is worried, but the Fiji Times interviewed a key scientist Dr Jessica Meeuwig the University of Western Australia’s director of Centre for Marine Futures. She basically laid out the stance that the Tuna fishing industry should change its ways to safeguard the marine ecosystem rather than simply exploit it, which tells it as it is.

Fiji is a popular diving destination and sharks are one of its draws and the government, like many others in the South Pacific region is finally waking up to the fact it’s marine resource is worth more alive than dead. Let’s hope, as divers, this change in attitude is contagious and government’s around the world adopt the same idea.