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The sharks and rays of the Solomon Islands: a synthesis of their biological diversity, values and conservation status
Sharks and rays are facing increasing anthropogenic pressure globally, including in the Pacific. However, data on their status and biodiversity is 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 rays status in the Solomon Islands will require primary fieldwork.
PC17012 Accepted 06 September 2017
© CSIRO 2017