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Discovery of an important aggregation area for endangered scalloped hammerhead sharks, Sphyrna lewini, in the Rewa River estuary, Fiji Islands

Brown, Kelly T. and Seeto, Johnson and Lal, Monal and Miller, Cara E. (2016) Discovery of an important aggregation area for endangered scalloped hammerhead sharks, Sphyrna lewini, in the Rewa River estuary, Fiji Islands. Pacific Conservation Biology, NA . NA. ISSN 1038-2097

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    Abstract

    The scalloped hammerhead shark, Sphyrna lewini, is endangered throughout its global distribution. Management and protection of this species is challenging in many locations because of limited scientific data and the vulnerable life-history traits of the species. Our study investigated anecdotal evidence that the Rewa River estuary in Fiji serves as an important nursery area for this shark. Research findings indicated that the average length of both males (60.6 ± 6.78 cm, n ¼ 31) and females (60.4 ± 6.85 cm, n ¼ 51) was well within published size limits of juvenile S. lewini studied in other locations (range ¼ 38.0–89.5 cm). On the basis of published reference points for umbilical scar status we postulate that the first captured juveniles were born in January of the study year. Stomach content analysis found the following prey items: Decapoda (represented by prawns and shrimps), Stomatopoda, anguilliformes and osteichthyes. Decapods were the most numerous prey item by both count (59.17% of total prey items) and weight (60.25% of total weight). Our study provides strong support that the Rewa River estuary is an important aggregation area for S. lewini in Fiji.

    Item Type: Journal Article
    Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
    Q Science > Q Science (General)
    S Agriculture > SH Aquaculture. Fisheries. Angling
    Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Marine Studies
    Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
    Depositing User: Fulori Nainoca
    Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2016 12:45
    Last Modified: 29 Jun 2016 12:47
    URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/9028
    UNSPECIFIED

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