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Solomon Islands

Checklist and Status Overview completed and published October 2017
(New paper published 2019 - see below)

Solomon Islands  - Country Statistics

  • Land area*: 27,986 squared km

  • Population* (2017): 647,581

  • Population Growth* (2017): 1.9%

  • Visitors** (2015): 21,623

  • Marine area (EEZ)****: 1,596,464 squared km

  • Population density*** (2016):  21 persons/squared km land area

  • Urban population* (2017): 23.2%

  • GDP*** (2016): USD $ 1.202 billion

* CIA World Factbook

** Solomon Islands Bureau of Statistics 

*** World Bank

**** Sea Around Us

Research student: Ms Sarah Hylton
(University of South Carolina and James Cook University)
In-country partners and contributors
Simon Albert (University of Queensland); Simon Foale (James Cook University); Richard Hamilton (The Nature Conservancy); Reuben Sulu (WorldFish); Rosalie Masu (Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources); Agnetha Vavekaramui (Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management & Meteorology), Lisa Choquette (Solomon Dive Adventures); Grant Kelly (Uepi Island Resort); Corey Howell (Wilderness Lodge); Malcolm Francis (New Zealand National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research), and Clinton Duffy (New Zealand Department of Conservation)
Download the Checklist [MS Excel]
Note: the checklist can also be downloaded as Supplementary Material 1 from published paper
Download the published paper(2017)
OPEN ACCESS - free to download and distribute

ABSTRACT of the paper in Pacific Conservation Biology

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 (51 as of Nov 2017)* 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 ray status in the Solomon Islands will require primary fieldwork.

* Update Nov 2017 - Mobula kuhlii confirmed in the Solomon Island (see below) and excel spreadsheet needs to be updated.

Checklist of Solomon Islands sharks and rays

Current number of shark species: 32

Current number of ray species: 18 (+ 1 [2019 paper] - checklist needs to be updated)

Current number of chimaera species: 0

A further seven species are listed as "Plausible" and "Unlikely" 

Click HERE to download a NEW paper on Solomon Islands reef sharks by Goetze et al. (2018
This research was carried out as part of the Global Fin Print project, it is NOT a Shark Search
Indo-Pacific project.
Solomon Islands shark and ray photos
Diver photographs new species record for the Solomon Islands!
The new scientific paper that adds Kuhl's devil ray 
M. kuhlii to the checklist is:

 Chin, A., Rigby, C., Short, A., and White, W.T. (2019) Verified records of Kuhl’s devil ray (Mobula kuhlii) in the Solomon Islands from citizen scientists. Pacific Conservation Biology. doi:

Kuhl's devilray (Mobula kuhlii | Muller and Henle 1841), observed 24/09/2017

Location: Maravagi Bay, Mangalonga Island, Florida Islands, -8  56'S; 160  3'E.

Photographed by Andrew Short onboard the Bilikiki live-aboard dive vessel



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