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Cetacean diversity, common occurrence and community importance in Fijian waters

Miller, Cara E. and Batibasaga, A. and Chand, P. and Dulunaqio, S. and Fox, M. and Jupiter, S. and Naisilisili, W. and Nand, Y. and Sharma-Gounder, S. and Smith, B. (2016) Cetacean diversity, common occurrence and community importance in Fijian waters. Pacific Conservation Biology, 22 . pp. 272-280. ISSN 1038-2097

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Fiji has demonstrated a strong commitment to cetacean conservation via national, regional and international plans and agreements. To provide baseline information in support of these efforts, this paper provides an updated listing of cetacean species found in Fijian waters and identifies locations where cetaceans have been noted on a consistent basis. Information for this review was sourced from peer-reviewed publications, field reports, historical whaling records, national consultations, anecdotal and opportunistic sources, as well as a national database held by the Fiji Government’s Department of Fisheries. Reliable and recent records were confirmed for 10 cetacean species in Fijian waters. In addition, less reliable records and regional species’ information provides support for the occurrence of at least 14 additional species or groups of similar-looking species that could not be identified more specifically. Thirteen hotspot areas within the Fiji Economic Exclusive Zone were preliminarily identified as being particularly important for cetaceans, including numerous sites within the Vatu-i-Ra and Lomaiviti passages and surrounding waters. Issues with the available data include uneven coverage, inherent biases within available sources, and difficulties with species identification and verification in some cases. Nevertheless, it is hoped that this review will provide a reference point from which to move forward with cetacean management and conservation efforts in Fiji.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
Depositing User: Cara Miller
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2016 04:16
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2016 04:16

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