Scientists are using every opportunity available to learn more about sharks and how to protect them. To us, two aspects are key to their survival: scientific research and awareness campaigns to promote shark conservation.
At our Shark Conservation Project in Fiji, we focus on both. Our researchers and volunteers work towards long-term goals. As a volunteer, you’ll help:
Collect data on marine life to inform conservation policies
You’ll be provided with PADI Open Water Dive training so you can assist with the collection of scientific research during survey dives.
During this Shark Conservation Project, you’ll:
- Dive with bull sharks and collect information on their behaviour
- Record details about different shark species during survey dives
- Deploy Baited Remote Underwater Videos (BRUVs) to study sharks without human presence and interference
- Observe the local staff tag juvenile sharks so we can monitor their lifespan, nursery habitats, and reproduction
This research is central to the project. We share it with global monitoring platforms such as eShark and SharkBase. Because of this research we can continue to protect and respond to the declining shark population.
“I also helped out on the shark tagging programme. This involved us going out on various rivers in Fiji and attempting to catch and tag juvenile bull sharks. This species is famous for its ability to survive in freshwater, and we wanted to determine which rivers in Fiji the sharks use, and roughly how many are actually in the rivers. This kind of information is crucial if we are to determine which areas of river we need to protect for these sharks.” Mark M, Shark Conservation Project, Fiji
Plant mangroves to offset carbon footprints in Fiji
As well as the core work with sharks, you’ll care for mangrove seedlings in our nursery and replant mangroves along the coast.
Mangroves are one of the most important ecosystems in the world. Historically, people overlooked the value of mangrove forests and removed them from the coastlines to widen navigation channels. What they didn’t know is that the mangroves provide a habitat structure that keeps young sharks safe from predators. They also act as nurseries for many other fish species, prevent erosion and reduce carbon emissions.
We’re currently working in partnership with local businesses in Fiji, Mexico and Thailand to offset their carbon emission levels through mangrove reforestation. We are proud to announce that the Fiji Uprising resort was deemed fully carbon neutral in 2018, after our volunteers planted over 15 acres of mangroves!
Raise awareness about conservation and the importance of sharks
We run different shark conservation lectures, marine ecology and environmental classes in order to protect and educate people. This can include running an awareness workshop, teaching a class on recycling with schoolchildren, or attending a lecture on shark identification.
“Given that the local villages have rights over Shark Reef, as well as other neighbouring reefs, community education is another crucial aspect of the shark conservation project. I participated in several community outreach activities such as painting a kindergarten building, planting nutritional plants for village use, and playing games related to shark education.” Christina C, Shark Conservation Project, Fiji