By Desy Nurhayati
A joint project conducted by Bali Sharks and Gili Shark Foundation is to save sharks in Bali’s seas from rampant poaching.
As an initial trial, last week, Bali Sharks moved four sharks, each with an average length of one meter, from a nursery they set up near Serangan in south Bali to inside a 3,000-hectare Marine Protected Area (MPA) off the Gili islands in Lombok.
Bali Sharks is a marine conservation nursery, which saves sharks and puts them in a pontoon in Serangan’s water.
Paul Friese, founder of Bali Sharks, said that moving the sharks to Gili was expected to give them a safe home.
Releasing the sharks in the MPA off Gili was considered safer than having them in Bali’s waters.
“Bali is not a safe area for the sharks, since many local fishermen catch them and take them to the fish markets, or the fishermen sell the sharks’ fins to middlemen, who send them to Hong Kong.”
Bali Sharks rescued the sharks by buying them from local fishermen to prevent them being killed for finning. They keep the young sharks until they are about 1.2-meters long, thus, are old enough, smart enough and competent to stay in deeper water.
So far, they had been able to save 57 sharks. Since the nursery was full, they have had to find a safe area to release the sharks. Teaming up with Gili Shark Foundation, they decided to release the sharks in the waters offthe Gili islands. More....