But the tables are turned, and Dakuwaqa now urgently needs the help of his people: almost 70% of the 75 recorded elasmobranch species inhabiting Fijian waters are considered to be globally threatened with extinction.
It’s reassuring to see whole island communities responding to this urgency and coming together to protect sharks. The Shark Reef Marine Reserve (SRMR) located in the Beqa Channel, off the southern coast of Viti Levu, Fiji, is a striking example of collaboration for conservation.
For any shark diver, the species which are regular visitors to the reef come close to nirvana. To get an idea of how diverse the area is, Of Shark and Man, a recent film by David Diley, not only tells the story of the SRMR but is a stunning showcase of the reef’s most regular visitors, including white-tip reefs, black-tip reefs, grey reefs, tawny nurse, sickle-fin lemons, silver-tip reefs, tigers, and – the species most consider to be the main attraction – bull sharks.
Photo: Alexander Vasenin/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)