By OGIA MIAMEL
AUSTRALIAN researchers and the National Fisheries Authority (NFA) have carried out a project to identify species of sharks and sting rays in Papua New Guinea.
NFA managing director John Kasu said yesterday during the exhibition of some of the research findings that the project began in 2013 to study existing species of sharks and sting rays and also to find species that were thought to be extinct.
He said the findings would help them to manage, conserve and protect rays and sharks found in PNG waters.
The NFA banned fishing of certain shark species in the country.
“Increase in price causes increase in long-line vessel fishing which subsequently prompted us to consider the introduction of the Shark Management Plan in mid-2001”,
“The responsibility of good and sustainable management is ongoing, therefore research must be done on a timely basis to ensure decision-making, policy and management options are made with up-to-date and accurate information.”
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation researcher Dr William White said they found four species of saw fish which were extinct in 20 countries in the world during their project.
“So far we’ve recorded about 122 species of sharks and rays in PNG so you are talking about 10 per cent of the world’s fauna we get here in PNG, which is amazing and it’s a highly diverse region,” White said.
“It’s important to balance eco system. They’ve got low productivity, some got their young one every one or two years, so you can imagine how long it can take for them to regenerate their population.”
By OGIA MIAMEL