Whereas the land animals of Papua New Guinea (PNG) are well documented and renowned for their diversity, head into the water and it’s a different story.
‘The marine fauna of PNG is poorly described’ the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) states in the foreword to its publication Sharks and rays of Papua New Guinea.
‘This fine book starts to redress this imbalance, by pointing out the significance of sharks and rays in the traditional culture of PNG and going on to provide a comprehensive account of their biological diversity,’ ACIAR’s Research Program Manager – Fisheries, Dr Chris Barlow, said.
With more than 332 pages of detailed descriptions, illustrations and photographs, Sharks and rays of Papua New Guinea brings to life 39 species of sharks and rays. From crocodile sharks to guitarfishes and eagle rays, the book contains every known aspect of each animal’s biology, habitat, distribution, prey, breeding habits, and many other details.
The book encapsulates the knowledge generated by a project on the sustainable management of the shark resources of PNG that was jointly undertaken by staff from the PNG National Fisheries Authority and Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.
‘I hope that it is the forerunner of similar assessments of other PNG marine resources,’ Dr Barlow said.