By Gareth Jordaan
Between the 17th– 19th November 2021, a group of scientists met for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic for the 6th Southern African Shark and Ray Symposium. This biennial symposium was hosted by the Dyer Island Conservation Trust in partnership with Marine Dynamics in Gansbaai, Western Cape.
The symposium provided the opportunity for research updates, collaboration and inspiration, as well as offered the chance for the African shark and ray research community to engage and share information on the status of their various projects. Delegates were not only from southern Africa, but from countries as far afield as Ghana, Mozambique and the Seychelles.
Dr Ryan Daly and Gareth Jordaan attended the symposium as SAAMBR representatives and presented their current research. One of Ryan’s presentations focussed on “Bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas) recruitment into St Lucia Estuary after prolonged mouth closure and first observation of a neonate bull shark preyed on by a Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus)”, and the other focussed on “Long-term catch trends and risk assessment of the critically endangered whitespotted wedgefish (Rhynchobatus djiddensis) from South Africa”.
Gareth presented on the “Movement patterns and growth rates of the whitespotted wedgefish Rhynchobatus djiddensis in southern Africa using tag-recapture data”. All three presentations were well received by attendees and provided a great opportunity for Ryan and Gareth to network and share some of the important and interesting work scientists at ORI are currently undertaking.