Special Meeting on Sharks Information Collection in Southeast Asia
15-17 September 2011
Shark is one of the important taxa concerned by international organization what increase magnitude to force the fishers on conservation issues in recently years. Furthermore, sharks are widely utilized in term of shark fin, flesh, skin including other products. With the biological scientific facts and market-related consumption, the International Plan of Action for Conservation and Management of Sharks has been developed and endorsed by the COFI Meeting in October 1998. For the ASEAN Countries, prevailing common position is that the management of commercial fisheries including those catching sharks should be under the purview of FAO, have since 2001 taken several actions that will lead to the formulation of the national plan of action on sharks.
Taking into regional actions, SEAFDEC initiated “regional ad-hoc study on sharks” in 2003. This study had been implemented with the financial support under Japanese Trust Fund Program on Environmental-related Tasks in the Southeast Asian Region. The project’s goal is to support the formulation of a regional policy and management mechanisms for fisheries catching sharks in the region.
Program of activities under that project included 4 sub-activities:
(i) 1-year study on shark catch, local use and trade;
(ii) survey on regional shark trade in Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand;
(iii) study on identification of shark species based on dermal denticles; and
(iv) formulation of NPOA-Sharks.
It was confirmed by the regional study that shark catches in ASEAN region are mostly from small-scale fisheries. It is also a supplementary “cash” catch. Small-scale fishers make their living from the sharks and they do not practice “fining” since every parts of sharks are valuable and fully utilized.
Over the years, ASEAN Countries recognized several environmental related issues, and among them was the problem on by-catch including sharks. In this connection, they acknowledged the rising of international concern that the reported increasing catch and trade of sharks around the world potentially threaten shark populations. Therefore, there is a need to improve information collection on the catch species, utilization and trade of shark, in the region. The Meeting aims at updating sharks’ information and discussing ways to improve data/information collection on sharks for further national/regional usage.
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