Tracing the Hunter: Estimating the Abundance of Vulnerable Shark Species in Wakatobi, Indonesia
This project sought to estimate the abundance of vulnerable shark species in Wakatobi, Indonesia. The greatest area of shark biodiversity is in the Indo-West Pacific. In Indonesia, specifically, sharks are one of the most important fishing commodities and are commonly found in almost every Indonesian fishery as target catch or bycatch. As top predators, sharks are integral to the ecosystem yet they are poorly managed and there is an urgent need to improve and develop responsible shark management and recovery plans. To develop these plans, more research is needed on species populations. To conduct a preliminary assessment of shark populations in Wakatobi, a series of interviews were conducted with 2 different groups directly dependent on the marine resources of the region: fishermen and dive guides. Interviews with these two different groups were undertaken in order to acquire information about locations of shark sightings or fisheries catch during their daily activities.