It was a day of triumph and celebration for Fijian members of the Qoliqoli Cokovata upon the launch of the Conservation of Shark and Ray Sanctuary Campaign in Dreketi, Macuata Monday.

This campaign would ensure the protection of the entrance and parts of the Dreketi River mouth from the month of November to April every year, to allow for endangered sharks and ray species to spawn.

Fiji President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere while officiating at the event highlighted that in a survey conducted by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Pacific in 2020 revealed that five species of sharks and two species of Ray listed on the International Union of Conservation Nature (IUCN) of threatened and endangered species, were found along the Dreketi River.

“The great hammerhead shark, scalloped hammerhead shark and the bottlenose wedge fish are listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as Critically Endangered, and that two Species, the Bull shark and the Blacktip shark, are listed as Near Threatened,” the President said.

“In addition, the two Species, the Ocellated eagle ray and the Pink whipray – are listed as Vulnerable.

“To protect these endangered species from depletion, the Qoliqoli Cokovata Management Committee through its Fisheries Management Plan has with the support of the Vanua Dreketi and Nabekavu agreed, and gave unanimous consensus to protect the entrance and part of the Dreketi River from the month of November to April each year for this endangered species to spawn.”

The President is the Traditional Custodian of the Qoliqoli Cokovata as the Tui Macuata.

This story was originally published at Fiji Govt on 20 November 2023, reposted via PACNEWS.

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