Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Fijiian Sharks Rare and Rarer

Something interesting from Fiji this week. The local papers there always have great shark stories.

Spotted rare baby shark surfaces

A FRIDAY night fishing trip became exciting after a baby shark was caught just off the waters of Naqara Island and Wainadoi jetty.

The shark was brownish-yellow and had black spots. The man who caught it is Horace Morell of Vatia, Labasa. Mr Morell, who now resides on Naqara, said he had seen other sharks but not one of this colour and shape.

"I was surprised because I have never seen a shark with spots and yellow. I smacked it but my wife said to let it go. I threw it back into the sea. Instead of swimming away, it circled the boat and came back so I caught it again and put it in a cage.

"I haven't decided what to do with it yet but I think I will keep it for a while. I used fish bait to catch it. It has a small mouth and gills. It looks like a Leopard shark because of its black spots but I am not sure."

Mr Horace said he wanted to get in touch with shark feeders of Beqa who might be interested.

He said he was able to put his hand in the shark's mouth. His wife Mele said it was also the first time for her to see that kind of shark.

She said they might give it to someone willing to look after it. In the meantime, they have not weighed their options on whether to sell it for research.

Beqa Adventures Divers Limited operations manager Andrew Cummings said the description of the shark could mean it was either a Leopard or Zebra shark. He said it was a particularly uncommon find in Fiji waters but said the shark was harmless.

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