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SUVA, Fiji Islands (August 30, 2001 – Daily Post/FijiLive)---Shark bites in Taveuni waters can be minimized if people are taught to stop dumping food refuse and other edible things -- especially animal carcass -- in the sea said Sydney Taylor, a Taveuni resident.

Mr. Taylor, who has been a fisherman for the past 10 years, said shark bites can be avoided if the practice of throwing refuse into the water by villages living along the seaside is stopped.

He told the Daily Post that sharks measuring up to 3-4 meters (about 10 –13 feet) in length are often sighted in waste-filled waters during high tide feeding on edible things that had been dumped by people during low tide.

"I also want to call upon the owner of the island's own butchery, which is on the southern end, to stop dumping ox intestines and other animal parts into the sea, since it’s only attracting sharks.

"The sharks are so clever that they know when it is feeding time and they only leave when they have had their meal.

"I am not saying that it is their fault by coming close to the shore to feed but it is those people who are feeding them," Mr. Taylor said.

He said those who were bitten by sharks this year were not bitten in deep waters but near the shore.

The worst shark attack on the island occurred two months ago, when a Welagi villager only had has head untouched by the shark.

According to the sub-divisional medical officer at Waiyevo Hospital, Dr. Praveen Ishri, " It was one of the most serious shark bites she had ever seen during her five years of service on the island.

"I've come across cases where shark bite victims either lost a limb or died from excessive blood loss but not like what I attended to two months back.

"It was 90 percent bite."

No limbs and other internal organs but only the head was left.

She said Mr. Taylor is quite correct in informing islanders of the dangers of dumping food into the sea.

However, another islander thinks otherwise.

According to a Somosomo villager who wishes to remain anonymous, whether you dump or don't dump leftover food in the water, sharks will always be there. They play an important traditional role, he said.

For additional reports from Fiji’s Daily Post, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Other News Resources/FijiLive.

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