WCPFC Shark Bycatch in 2010

SHARK YEAR MAGAZINE, 13 August 2011.

Reported shark catches made by tuna/longline fisheries of 18 nations in the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) Area for the year 2010 .

Retained catch estimates of sharks by the Australian fleet in the WCPFC Convention Area for 2010:
Blacktip shark = 0,1 t.
Blue shark  = 13,9 t .
Bronze whaler = 10,9 t.
Dusky shark = 8,3 t.
Hammerhead shark = 3,2 t.
Oceanic whitetip shark = 2,9 t.
Shortfin mako = 47,6 t.
Thesher shark = 1,1 t.
Tiger shark = 3,7 t.
TOTAL =  91,7 t.

Catch of shark species by the Chinese Longline tuna fishery in the WCPFC Convention Area in 2010
Blue shark = 506 mt.
Shortfin mako = 133 mt.
Oceanic whitetip shark = 532 mt.
TOTAL = 1171 mt.

Recorded shark bycatch in 2010  = 3,01 mt.

The purse seine shark bycatch in the WCPFC-CA during 2010 :
Silky shark = 30,53 mt.
Oceanic whitetip shark = 0,19 mt.
Carcharhinus spp. = 0,1 mt.
Whale shark = 8,39 mt.
Note: 30 percent of Oceanic whitetip and silky shark, as well as all whale sharks were released alive.

EU Surface Longline Fisheries:
( a total of five Spanish Longline vessels have operated in the WCPFC-CA )
Blue shark = 717 mt
Shortfin mako = 218 mt
Oceanic whitetip shark = 0.5 mt
Sandbar shark = 0.1 mt
TOTAL = 935.6 mt
Note: The EU-Spanish surface longline fleet has never carried out finning practice in Pacific Ocean.

The total shark bycatch by the 23 active vessels is reported to be 44 mt in 2010.

Blue shark (Prionace glauca)  =  199 mt.
Mako shark (Isurus spp.) = 123 mt.
Oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus) = 38 mt.
Silky shark (Carcharhinus falciformis) = 145 mt.
Thresher shark (Alopias spp.) = 12 mt.
Pelagic stingray = 229 mt.
Other sharks and Rays = 107 mt.
TOTAL: 853 mt.

Mako shark = 25 metric tons (mt) .
Other sharks (not retained) = 172 mt.
Note: Since 2006, all sharks except mako are fully protected inside the entire French Polynesia
Economic Zone. It is planned to include mako sharks as well.

Shark catches (provisional data) in the WCPFC Convention Area made by the Japanese distant/offshore and small offshore longline fisheries.
Blue shark (Prionace glauca) = 7,624 mt.
Salmon shark / porbeagle (Lamna spp.) = 159 mt.
Mako shark (Isurus spp.) =  537 mt.
Other sharks = 117 mt.
TOTAL = 8,437 metric tons (mt).
Note: In 2010, tags were attached to 1,029 blue sharks, 11 bigeye threshers, 37 shortfin makos, 25 salmon sharks and 5 others (total 1,107) in the Pacific.

No records for 2010.
Total shark catches in 2009 = 4 mt.

Blue shark (Prionace glauca) = 1,44 mt.
Porbeagle shark =  5,2 mt.
TOTAL = 6,64 mt.
Note: About 100 longline vessels have submitted their logsheets to the NFRDI at the time of compilation of the catch statistics for 2010, but shark catches (listed above) were recorded in the logsheet of only four vessels.

Shortfin mako = 10 metric tons (mt).
The shortfin mako is the only shark retained and sold for meat consumption in New Caledonia.
Other shark species are usually released at sea if they are captured alive.

Landed shark catches that were taken in tuna fisheries within New Zealand fisheries waters in 2010.
Blue shark (Prionace glauca) = 712 t.
Mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) = 66 t.
Porbeagle shark (Lamna nasus) =  62 t.
TOTAL = 840 tons.

Estimated shark catches by the Samoa tuna longline fleet, in the WCPFC Convention Area, for 2010.
Blue shark = 0.19 mt
Galapagos shark = 0.034 mt
Oceanic whitetip shark = 0.19 mt
Silky shark = 0.033 mt
Sharks unloaded from longline vessels without fins and tails =  1,89 mt
TOTAL =  2.334 mt

A number of small longline vessels had been targeting shark in Solomon Islands EEZ under chartered arrangements since early 2000. In 2010, 13 vessels (mainly Taiwanese flagged) were licensed in this fishery. It is important to note here that this fishery does no longer exist in Solomon Islands in 2011. All shark licenses had been ceased as of the end December 2010.
Shark catches taken by this fleet in 2010:
Silky shark = 347 mt
Other sharks = ca. 350 mt

The catches (in mt, round weight) of main shark species that were caught by the  tuna longline fleet
in WCPFC Convention Area in 2010 (preliminary estimates).

Large scale tuna longline fleet:

Blue shark =  912 mt
Silky shark = 417 mt
Shortfin mako shark = 206 mt
Oceanic whitetip shark = 80 mt
Pelagic thresher shark = 9 mt
Bigeye thresher shark = 25 mt
Smooth hammerhead shark = 5 mt
Scalloped hammerhead shark = 6 mt
Other sharks =  43  mt

Small scale tuna longliners:

Blue shark =  10,077 mt
Silky shark = 233 mt
Shortfin mako shark = 731 mt
Oceanic whitetip shark = 7 mt
Pelagic thresher shark = 237 mt
Bigeye thresher shark = 279 mt
Smooth hammerhead shark = 104 mt
Scalloped hammerhead shark = 365 mt
Other sharks =  3,380  mt

Estimated catches of sharks by the Tongan Longliners, in the WCPFC Covention Area, for 2010:
Sharks (unidentified) = 2.1 metric tons.
Note: Certain shark species are rarely retained, although almost all sharks (greater than 90 %) are finned before being discarded.

Estimated weight of shark landings by vessels of the United States and its Participating
Territories (American Samoa, Guam, and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) in the WCPFC Statistical Area, for 2010 (preliminary).
Blue shark = 7 mt
Mako shark = 65 mt
Thresher shark = 16 mt
Other sharks = 3 mt
TOTAL = 91 metric tons.

Estimated  shark catches by Belize flagged long line fishing vessels operating in the WCPFC Convention Area for 2010 :
Sharks (unidentified) = 0.864 mt.

Source: The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).




  1. You can probably multiply these figures by 10, because I highly doubt the longline tuna fishing industry is going to report accurate figures. On that note, I find it very hard to believe that not one, not one single great white shark was caught by this industry in the whole of 2010.

  2. It’ll probably be in the “other”section. There was at least one caught. You can see it in this pictures on this page, p`lus 2 basking sharks. What’s reported is the tip of the iceberg. http://www.wakeproject.net/?q=node/21

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