Pacific Conservation Biology Pacific Conservation Biology Society
A journal dedicated to conservation and wildlife management in the Pacific region.
RESEARCH ARTICLE (Open Access)

The sharks and rays of the Solomon Islands: a synthesis of their biological diversity, values and conservation status

S. Hylton A B D , W. T. White C and A. Chin B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Marine Science Program, School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA.

B Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture, College of Science and Engineering, James Cook University, Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia.

C CSIRO Australian National Fish Collection, GPO Box 1538, Hobart, Tas. 7018, Australia.

D Corresponding author. Email: shylton@une.edu

Pacific Conservation Biology - https://doi.org/10.1071/PC17012
Submitted: 12 April 2017  Accepted: 6 September 2017   Published online: 12 October 2017

Journal Compilation © CSIRO Publishing 2017 Open Access CC BY-NC-ND

Abstract

Sharks and rays are facing increasing anthropogenic pressure globally, including in the Pacific. However, data on their status and biodiversity are lacking for many Pacific Large Ocean Island States. This study aimed to construct a species checklist for the sharks and rays occurring in the Solomon Islands, review the human interactions with these species, and present a synthesis of their conservation status. Given the paucity of available data, a wide range of data sources were used including fisheries data, citizen science, and ethnobiological studies. Results were validated through a review process involving expert informants. Fifty sharks and rays were identified from the Solomon Islands, of which 20 are assessed as Vulnerable or Endangered on the IUCN Red List, 10 in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, and 11 in the Convention for Migratory Species. The checklist also presents an eastwards range extension for the Endangered dwarf sawfish Pristis clavata. Fishing appears to be the main impact, though impacts from habitat loss and degradation are possible. This study provides a systematic synthesis and review of the biological diversity, uses, and cultural significance of Solomon Islands sharks and rays, and describes a process for assembling species checklists and reviews in data-poor contexts. However, this synthesis is based on limited information and a complete assessment of shark and ray status in the Solomon Islands will require primary fieldwork.

Additional keywords: biodiversity, citizen science, conservation management, extinction risk, legislation, population decline, predator


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