DBN to host shark experts

2014-05-27 00:00

THE second international shark symposium taking place in Durban sees the city welcoming hundreds of shark experts and researchers from around the world.

The inaugural international shark symposium held in Cairns, Australia, in 2010 was initially planned as a one-off event, but when it proved such a massive success delegates insisted it become an annual event.

The KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board will host the symposium and their head of research Geremy Cliff says the event is huge. “This is the biggest shark conference in the world and something like this doesn’t happen often.”

From the perspective of shark research Cliff said the symposium is very important as other conferences don’t focus specifically on sharks.

“South Africa is well respected for the research we do with sharks so we’ve developed a good reputation,” Cliff said.

The symposium aims to create a forum for researchers and students to share their latest findings and studies with each other.

Over nearly 300 delegates from 40 countries are expected to attend the event where about 228 presentations on different topics will be discussed.

Some of these include physiology, genetics, population ecology, fisheries, tourism and shark control.

Cliff said the biggest threats sharks face at the moment are overfishing and habitat degradation. “Most of the cases where sharks are caught are incidental by-catch, but then their fins get cut off and they are just thrown back into the water,” Cliff said.

The symposium will take place at the Southern Sun Elangeni-Maharani Hotel on the Durban beachfront from June 2-6.

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