Local drivers of declining shark fisheries in India

Published on
3. June 2019

Local drivers of declining shark fisheries in India

Divya Karnad, Dipani Sutaria, Rima W. Jabado


This study evaluates local-scale drivers of shark harvests in India, one of the world’s largest shark fishing nations. Focusing on key harbours in the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra, which together contribute 54% of India’s shark harvest, this study uses a semi-structured survey to examine the practices of shark fishers and traders, their knowledge of shark trade and policy, and perceptions of shark declines. Findings indicate that a domestic market for shark meat is presently the main local driver for harvests rather than the global trade in shark fins. Sharks are mostly non-target catch, landed whole, contributing to the protein needs of coastal communities. Consumer demand is the greatest for small-bodied and juvenile sharks. Perceived steep declines in shark numbers and sizes have had economic impacts on fishers and traders. The unregulated domestic market for shark meat is a key challenge requiring nuanced local approaches that diverge from global shark conservation priorities.

Ambio (2019), DOI 10.1007/s13280-019-01203-z


Leave a Reply