Preliminary results of the Great Fiji Shark Count, April 2012
In the month of April, 3,693 divers recorded their shark sightings during 855 dives.
The average diver had done 458 dives in Fiji (many were local divemasters), indicating that their observations were very reliable.
During those dives, 12,073 shark sightings, of 11 species, were recorded, plus 5 species of ray, and 2 species of turtles.
Regular shark feeding dives attracted many more sharks, and some species that were not seen on non-feeding dives, but the majority of observations were natural encounters, not feeding dives.
Feeding dives are indicated in Red italics.
Table of commonness of shark species seen on dives in Fiji coastal waters
|Most Common Sharks||English Name||Scientific Latin Name||Average number sharks per dive||Notes|
|1||Bull||Carcharhinus leucas||1.123866||Shark Feeds predominantly|
|2||Whitetip Reef||Triaenodon obesus||0.881651|
|3||Grey Reef||Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos||0.599583|
|4||Blacktip Reef||Carcharhinus melanopterus||0.296363|
|5||Tawny Nurse||Nebrius ferrugineus||0.152319|
|6||Scalloped Hammerhead||Sphyrna lewini||0.14561||Schools seen on South Vanua Levu|
|7||Indo-Pacific Lemon||Negaprion acutidens||0.049242||Shark Feeds only|
|9||Leopard (or Zebra)||Stegastoma fasciatum||0.00581|
|10||Tiger||Galeocerdo cuvier||0.00098||Shark Feeds only|
|12||Great Hammerhead||Sphyrna mokarran||0||None seen|
Table of number of dives and sharks recorded in each region of Fiji in April 2012
|Region of Fiji||Number of observations recorded||Total Sharks recorded||Average number of sharks per dive||Number of species found|
|Beqa Shark Feed||330||8269||25.06||8|
|Beqa Non Feed||255||348||1.36||5|
Maps showing number of sharks and shark species in each region
Shark numbers are expressed as the average number of sharks seen on a single dive, to discount multiple sightings by more than one diver per dive.
Apart from the regular feeding dives, the most sharks were seen in Beqa, Namena, Savusavu and Lomaiviti, but a wider variety of species was found in the Mamanuca Islands, the Coral Coast of Viti Levu, Beqa, Kadavu and Taveuni.
Graphs showing numbers of sharks and shark species seen in each region(Shark feeding dives removed)
Apart from at feeding dives, the highest average shark numbers per dive were seen in Namena and Savusavu, where schooling Scalloped Hammerheads and other pelagic species are regularly seen, followed by the Lomaiviti area, Beqa (non-feeding) and Taveuni.
The largest variety of species (apart from the feeding dives) was found on the Coral Coast, where Tawny Nurse and Leopard Sharks are regularly seen in the passages, and Guitar fish occasionally.
Most other regions featured 4 or 5 species most of the time, with Suva and Namena recording a lower number of species.
Table of average number of shark species seen per dive in each region Special sightings
|Number of divers||White-tip Reef||Silvertip||Tawny Nurse||Indo-Pac Lemon||Leopard/
|Blacktip Reef||Grey Reef||Bull||Tiger||Scalloped Hammerhead||Great Hammerhead||Guitarfish|
|Region||Beqa Shark Feed||330||4.094||0.345||1.779||0.591||0.018||2.767||2.367||13.097||0.012||0||0||0|
|Beqa Non Feed||255||0.557||0||0||0||0||0.306||0.102||0.388||0||0||0||0|
|Fiji Average||Including feeding||3693||0.882||0.034||0.152||0.049||0.006||0.296||0.6||1.124||0.001||0.146||0||0.001|
- Schooling Scalloped Hammerheads were reported from the Savusavu/ South Vanua Levu reefs.
- Guitarfish have only been reported from the Coral Coast of Viti Levu.
- Lemon Sharks and Tiger Sharks have only been seen on shark feeding dives.
- Bull Sharks are occasionally seen on other reefs, but predominantly on feeding dives