Article

The shark fishery in the United Arab Emirates: An interview based approach to assess the status of sharks

Authors:
  • Elasmo Project
  • Free lance Ottawa, Canada
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Abstract

Anecdotal evidence suggests that sharks are being targeted in the United Arab Emirates artisanal fishery. However, little information is available on this fishery and baseline information is essential for understanding its impact on shark populations in the Arabian/Persian Gulf, and for managing sharks in this region.The aim of this study was to investigate the artisanal shark fishery and gain an insight into the social, motivational and economic drivers behind it. Fishery characteristics were examined and the effect of fishing on local shark stocks assessed by interviewing Emirati fishermen across the country (n = 126).Sharks were found to be increasingly targeted owing to their high value in the global fin trade industry. The majority of fishermen (80%) confirmed that changes in species composition, abundance and sizes of sharks have been continuing for more than two decades, mainly because of overfishing, raising concerns about the sustainability of this fishery.Results suggest that sharks are likely to be overexploited and that management measures will need to take into account the precautionary principle. There is an urgent need to formulate long-term and effective conservation and management plans to prevent further declines in a number of species.Additional efforts should be directed to quantify the ecological implications of the observed changes and determine if these are aggravated by the life-history traits of the fished species. Such implications should be considered when assessing the sustainability of local fisheries.The data gathered can now serve as a reference to managers, fisheries scientists and other stakeholders to prioritize future research as well as lay foundations for the development and implementation of national management plans for the protection and conservation of sharks. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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... Fisheries in the region are described as artisanal, multi-gear, and multi-species (Beech 2004b;Grandcourt 2012). Fishermen operate two types of boats: small fiberglass dories, or 'tarad', and traditional wooden dhows, or 'lansh' (Grandcourt 2012;Jabado et al. 2014). The primary fishing gear utilized on these vessels include drift nets, gill nets, handlines, traps, longlines, and trolls (Jabado et al. 2014). ...
... Fishermen operate two types of boats: small fiberglass dories, or 'tarad', and traditional wooden dhows, or 'lansh' (Grandcourt 2012;Jabado et al. 2014). The primary fishing gear utilized on these vessels include drift nets, gill nets, handlines, traps, longlines, and trolls (Jabado et al. 2014). Although sharks are an important component of fisheries and fish trade, their diversity in the Gulf is still poorly understood (Jabado et al. 2014). ...
... The primary fishing gear utilized on these vessels include drift nets, gill nets, handlines, traps, longlines, and trolls (Jabado et al. 2014). Although sharks are an important component of fisheries and fish trade, their diversity in the Gulf is still poorly understood (Jabado et al. 2014). Based on a literature review and results from market surveys, the most recent account of shark species in this basin confirms the presence of 26 species (Moore et al. 2012b). ...
Article
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Although fish fauna in the Arabian/Persian Gulf have been studied for decades, shark diversity has only been recently investigated in the region. Here, we present a first comprehensive account of shark diversity from the United Arab Emirates based on fishery-dependent data collected at market and landing sites over a two-year period of field sampling. Landings across the country were dominated by carcharhinids, and six species were found to be most abundant, including the spot-tail shark, Carcharhinus sorrah, and the milk shark, Rhizoprionodon acutus, contributing 31.8 % and 29.9 %, respectively, of the total number of sharks. While observed landings varied among regions and across seasons, results showed that shark landings were dominated by small-sized species, which may be a reflection of overexploitation. We are now expanding the existing checklist of shark species in the Persian Gulf from 27 to 31, having utilized both morphological identification and genetic barcoding in validating the existence of the grey bamboo shark, Chiloscyllium griseum; the tawny nurse shark, Nebrius ferrugineus; the silky shark, Carcharhinus falciformis; and the sandbar shark, Carcharhinus plumbeus, in these waters. This inventory provides an urgently needed assessment of current regional diversity patterns that can now be used as a baseline for future investigations evaluating the effect of fisheries on shark populations. Results emphasize the need for research on life history traits of the various species in order to determine their regional conservation status, but also reveal that a precautionary approach to conservation will be necessary to mitigate anthropogenic impacts.
... In some cases, fishers had some understanding that certain shark species were less likely to survive after catch and release fishing, and tried to release sharks in a good condition to improve their chances of survival (Lynch et al., 2010), while in others, these attitudes were not accompanied by fishing gear to improve shark survival (Heard et al., 2016). In many cases, people fishing for sharks as part of their livelihoods (e.g., commercial or industrial fishing, depending on the terminology used, or recreational fishing businesses), are not doing so as part of a "target" shark fishery; instead, they are seeking other species, such as tuna, but also catch sharks, which they might then turn into a commodity (e.g., if there is a market or dealer to whom they can sell shark meat or fins, whether or not it is legal to do so) (Jabado et al., 2015). Recreational fishing businesses may market several different species-focused expeditions, one of which may be sharks (Shiffman and Hammerschlag, 2014). ...
... In regions where fisheries monitoring data is limited or lacking, fishers can be a source of knowledge for long-term population trends; this knowledge has been recognized by researchers through the surveys of traditional or local ecological knowledge (TEK or LEK). In the Gulf Region of the United Arab Emirates, artisanal or industrial fishers have for decades been catching sharks for some part of their income, which was leveraged by Jabado et al. (2015) through LEK surveys to establish baseline information on the abundance and sizes of sharks. Similar to other long-term users of marine areas (Suman et al., 1999;Gray et al., 2010;Nayak, 2017), participating fishers felt that their knowledge was not sufficiently consulted during management planning, which in turn affected their ability to access fish (sharks and otherwise). ...
... However, the value of this partnership may go unacknowledged by fishery managers, presenting an untapped resource for gathering ecological data, while fostering stewardship through acknowledging the expertise of fishers. In developing nations, researchers associated with academic institutions are gathering experiential knowledge such as shark abundance, size trends, and market values through questionnaires, interviews, or by employing community members as data collectors (Jabado et al., 2015, Jabado, 2018Jaiteh et al., 2016a;Humber et al., 2017). These findings are shared with the academic community and others with access to scientific journals, however, pathways on how to use this in management are not explicit. ...
Presentation
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Sharks occupy unique roles in human society: objects of conservation campaigns, fishery and tourism resources, maligned predators inciting fear in beach-goers, and subjects of inquisitive scientists. There are more than 1250 species of sharks and their relatives, which have persisted on Earth in some evolutionary form for over 420 million years and now occupy countless environments - from arctic waters and tropical coral reefs, to deep seabeds and inland rivers. Sharks range in size from 20 centimeters (the dwarf lanternshark) to 20 meters (the whale shark), performing an array of functions in their natural habitats and in human society. For conservation purposes, sharks have generally been framed as having either intrinsic or instrumental value, that is value simply by merit of their existence or value for the sake of human use. This presentation will examine them in terms of relational values - that is, human values derived from a relationship with sharks, such as self- or community-identity, moral obligation to conserve non-human species, notions of well-being, and stewardship. We propose that efforts to rebuild or sustain shark populations through regulating human activities are more likely to succeed through assessing and considering relational values of all stakeholders, and mediating conflicting value frameworks (e.g., fishers versus environmentalists). We also discuss how relational values through sharks have manifested in the scientific community, fishers, indigenous groups, tourists, and the public, the unique roles held by each in ‘valuing’ sharks, and how policies targeting these groups’ behavior are well suited to include relational value assessments.
... In the past 15 years, the UAE has emerged as a regional market for fish and has become a hub for fish exports to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, the Middle East, Africa and Europe (EU) (Al Mousa et al., 2008). Recent research indicates shark fisheries in the UAE are essentially driven by shark fin export markets (Jabado et al., 2014a) with reports showing exports up to 500 mt of dried raw fins annually to Hong Kong, playing a crucial role in the international shark fin trade as a regional export hub Hareide et al., 2007;WildAid, 2007). However, much of the trade in sharks and their products remains unregulated with little information available regarding species and quantities involved. ...
... Since no shark species have been assessed regionally, it is critical to monitor them, collect regional data on exploitation rates and determine priorities for conservation. For instance, fishermen in the UAE stated that makos had disappeared from Gulf waters and this species was not found during landing site surveys across the country (Jabado et al. 2014a;Jabado et al. 2014b). However, this species was a substantial component of the trade from Oman and it is clear that exploitation rates need to be assessed regionally. ...
... The strong smell of ammonia noticeable during auctions where sharks were displayed in the heat, was not a concern for traders and they stated that meat could still be sold after drying. Dried shark meat, packaged and retailed for domestic consumption in the UAE, was unlikely to be marketed for Emiratis as they prefer fresh meat from small bodied sharks (Gubanov and Schleib, 1980;Jabado et al., 2014a). However, it is likely that the market for this product was due to large numbers of Indian expatriates living here since dried shark meat is very popular in India and consumed along many coastal areas (Hanfee, 1997). ...
... The conservative life-history traits of many shark species render them vulnerable to fishing pressure, and their exploitation in recent years has led to increasing international concern (Stevens et al. 2000;Dulvy et al. 2014). Although the shark fishery in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is considered artisanal, recent studies investigating the status and diversity of the exploited species in Arabian/ Persian Gulf waters (hereafter referred to as the 'Gulf') have emphasised gaps in knowledge with respect to their biology (Moore 2012;Jabado et al. 2015aJabado et al. , 2015b. Artisanal fisheries represent a considerable portion of global shark landings and can greatly affect the abundance and size composition of species (Pinnegar and Engelhard 2008). ...
... Recent reports of large declines in abundance, catches and sizes of sharks in the UAE emphasises the need to address the lack of local knowledge, and the limited regional knowledge, of life-history characteristics (Jabado et al. 2015a(Jabado et al. , 2015b. Baseline biological information, including size composition, sex ratio and, where possible, reproduct ive status, of species found in landings along the Gulf coast of the UAE, is presented here. ...
... However, across all landings, the high proportion of juveniles is of major concern. The fishery in the UAE uses a combination of fishing gear, i.e. nets, handlines and longlines, which allow the targeting of all sizes of sharks (Jabado et al. 2015a Although most maximum sizes recorded in the current study are consistent with earlier described ranges, several species were either much smaller or larger than reported from other studies in the region. For instance, C. leucas reached a maximum size of 2 430 mm for females and 2 977 for males (Table 1), sizes that exceed the maxima reported earlier in the Gulf for both sexes (1 830 mm and 1 580 mm, respectively; Moore et al. 2012). ...
Article
Full-text available
Landing site and market surveys of sharks landed along the Arabian Gulf coast of the United Arab Emirates were undertaken between October 2010 and September 2012 to obtain biological data from this artisanal fishery. Data were collected on the size and sex of 12 482 individuals representing 30 species. Maximum sizes of Carcharhinus sorrah, C. amblyrhynchoides and Hemipristis elongata were extended by at least 300 mm total length (TL) compared with published global maxima. The size at 50% maturity was determined for males of five species and this indicated that the males of smaller shark species (<1 000 mm maximum TL) in the fishery were largely mature. For many species, including Loxodon macrorhinus and Mustelus mosis, overall sex ratios were male-biased, indicating that sexual segregation is likely in those species. Furthermore, sex ratios for several species, such as Rhizoprionodon acutus, showed differences across seasons. Overall, the landings contained a high proportion of juveniles, causing concerns about the sustainability of this fishery. Biological parameters of a number of species differed from those recorded earlier for the region, demonstrating a need for additional local data collection to support the development of management measures.
... Fisheries in the UAE are artisanal and typically multi-species and multi-gear (Grandcourt 2012, Jabado et al. 2015a. Fishers operate 2 types of boats: small fiberglass dories ('tarad') and traditional wooden dhows ('lansh') with the primary fishing gear including drift nets, gill nets, hand lines, traps, longlines, and trolls (Grandcourt 2012, Jabado et al. 2015a. ...
... Fisheries in the UAE are artisanal and typically multi-species and multi-gear (Grandcourt 2012, Jabado et al. 2015a. Fishers operate 2 types of boats: small fiberglass dories ('tarad') and traditional wooden dhows ('lansh') with the primary fishing gear including drift nets, gill nets, hand lines, traps, longlines, and trolls (Grandcourt 2012, Jabado et al. 2015a. During a comprehensive fishery-dependent study of elasmobranchs in the UAE between 2010 and 2012 (Jabado et al. 2015b), only 1 sawfish (green sawfish) specimen was encountered at the Al Jubail landing site in Sharjah (R. Jabado unpubl. ...
... data). However, informal discussions and interviews with fishers across the country have suggested their continued occurrence in certain areas offshore of Dubai and in coastal Abu Dhabi waters, especially around the Marawah Marine Biosphere Reserve (Jabado et al. 2015a). Furthermore, citizen science reports submitted to the Gulf Elasmo Project between 2011 and 2016 photographically confirmed 5 encounters with green sawfish in Abu Dhabi, Dibba, and Sharjah (www. ...
Article
Full-text available
The sawfishes (Pristidae) represent one of the most threatened groups of marine fish around the world. Between October 2015 and June 2016, interviews (n = 82) were conducted to assess the occurrence of sawfish in United Arab Emirates waters and gain insight from fishers’ traditional ecological knowledge regarding the status, uses, and cultural significance of sawfish. Almost all respondents (95.1%) had previously seen a sawfish, and 92.6% confirmed that their numbers had declined in the last 20 yr. Most respondents reported encounters in the last 5 to 10 yr, with 18.3% (n = 15) having seen a sawfish in the last 2 yr. Sawfish were not perceived as a culturally significant resource (76.8%) and when caught were primarily used as food, their high-value fins sold to traders, and rostra retained as decorations. The consensus was that while sawfish were previously targeted, they are now caught primarily as bycatch in gill nets. Based on pictures and rostra encountered (n = 19), it appears that the green sawfish Pristis zijsron is more common in United Arab Emirates waters than the narrow sawfish Anoxypristis cuspidata, which is likely to be present off the Ras Al Khaimah coast. While the results of this study provide evidence of a large decline in sawfish, they hint at the possible importance of Abu Dhabi waters as a region where sawfish are still encountered and where research and monitoring, as well as conservation and recovery efforts, should be focused to avoid local extinction and recover their populations.
... The apparent uncommonness and overall lack of records of some species is either a reflection that fishermen are not retaining them, or suggests that these species are rare, with potentially limited distributions, or that they have simply not been able to withstand fishing pressure. Interviews with fishermen and traders in the UAE (Jabado et al., 2015b) and Oman (unpub. data) highlight the value of shark-like batoids for the fin trade and it is therefore unlikely that fishermen discard them. ...
... In western Africa, there was a preference for adult blackchin guitarfish (R. cemiculus) with juveniles usually discarded (Seck et al., 2004) while in more recent years, even fins from embryos are removed for sale . Specifically, reports indicate that wedgefishes have become increasingly targeted due to their fins which are considered the most valuable and highest quality for consumption, worth twice the value of any other species (e.g. the bottlenose wedgefish (Rhynchobatus australiae) in Zanzibar, Tanzania (Barrowclift et al., 2017;Schaeffer, 2004); Rhynchobatus spp. in the UAE (Jabado et al., 2015b)). Recent work in Kuwait and Qatar also suggests that rhinids are of some value both as meat and for fins (Moore et al., 2012). ...
... Recent work in Kuwait and Qatar also suggests that rhinids are of some value both as meat and for fins (Moore et al., 2012). Anecdotal data from interviews with fishermen and traders in the UAE suggests that sawfishes have been replaced by guitarfishes as the most sought after species for the fin trade and are increasingly targeted and retained due to the high value of their fins (Jabado et al., 2015b(Jabado et al., , 2017a. The existing strong economic incentive to target and retain sharks and rays will continue driving the overexploitation of rhinopristoids and requires urgent action (Dent and Clarke, 2015). ...
Article
Shark-like batoids (Rhinopristiformes) represent of some of the most threatened families of sharks and rays. In certain regions, they are a relatively important component of elasmobranch fisheries, commonly taken as by-catch in gillnets and longlines, but also increasingly targeted for their high value fins and meat. This demand, combined with intense fishing pressure, has resulted in global population declines as well as localized extinctions of many rhinopristoids. Yet, information on the life-history, ecology, and conservation status remains scarce for most species. From 2010-2012, data was opportunistically collected from thirteen rhinopristoid species, including four endemic to the Arabian Sea and adjacent waters, landed from fisheries in the United Arab Emirates or transported from Oman. Four taxa dominated and comprised 92% of total shark-like batoid landings by number, namely Rhynchobatus spp., the Halavi guitarfish (Glaucostegus halavi), bowmouth guitarfish (Rhina ancylostoma), and Bengal guitarfish (Rhinobatos annandalei). Details of the biological characteristics, including size composition and sex ratios, are presented for each species. While there remain identification challenges related to some unresolved taxonomic issues, with several likely undescribed species occurring in the region, the first regional checklist of rhinopristoids is provided. Evidence of significant declines in landings combined with increasing fishing effort over a short time period raises concern about the status and long-term persistence of many species. Increased research to understand the biology, ecology, diversity, and resilience to harvest by fisheries is critical to the effective management of these species and an urgent precautionary approach to their conservation is warranted.
... When removing C. arabicum and Himantura spp. from our analysis, species known to be discarded by fishers in the UAE 18,22 , our CPUE is reduced by more than half and ranges closer to the alarmingly low CPUE results from the northern Saudi Arabian Red Sea 21 . While there are few historical baselines of elasmobranch abundance from the Arabian Gulf, several studies have already highlighted the increasing fishing pressure on these species in the region with population declines as well as changes in the species composition and sizes of individuals landed (e.g. ...
... These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that sharks and rays in the Arabian Gulf and broader Arabian Sea and adjacent waters region are amongst the most threatened in the world 17 . Despite the UAE having developed legislation to regulate shark fishing (including species-specific protections), most species (especially sharks) are still landed as bycatch due to an overlap between the seasonal shark fishing ban and open gillnet fishing season 22 . Unsustainable fishing and overexploitation of elasmobranch resources, coupled with weak enforcement of fishing policies, are widespread in the region and these low CPUE numbers are likely a reflection of stocks that have been depleted from over two decades of overfishing 21,23 . ...
... Firstly, our BRUVS recorded during the day and some elasmobranch species exhibit diel changes in behavior and activity 28,29 . For example, many shark species are less active during the day than at night when fishers set various fishing gear (e.g., gillnets or longlines) and catch large quantities of sharks 22,29,30 . Furthermore, fishers tend to have much longer soak times (often over 12 hours) and cover large areas and therefore are more likely to capture sharks and rays during foraging trips 27 . ...
Article
Full-text available
Data on the diversity and relative abundance of elasmobranchs (sharks and rays) in the Arabian Gulf have been limited to fishery-dependent monitoring of landing sites. Understanding the diversity and abundance of sharks and rays is, however, crucial to inform policy and management plans. Baited Remote Underwater Video Surveys (BRUVS) were conducted in 2015–2016 across the United Arab Emirates Arabian Gulf waters encompassing a range of depths and habitat types. Data from 278 BRUVS (757 hours soak time) were analysed to gather information on diversity, relative abundance, species distribution, and habitat associations. Surveys recorded 213 individuals from 20 species of sharks and rays at 129 stations. The frequency of occurrence of species usually discarded by fishers such as the Arabian carpetshark (Chiloscyllium arabicum) and stingrays (Himantura spp.) was high, accounting for 60.5% of observed elasmobranchs. Despite the large survey area covered and extensive sampling effort, the relative abundance of sharks and rays was low at 0.28 elasmobranchs per hour, 0.13 sharks per hour, and 0.15 rays per hour. This CPUE was reduced to one of lowest recorded abundance on BRUVS from around the world when removing the two discarded species from the analysis (0.11 elasmobranchs per hour). These results likely reflect the intense fishing pressure and habitat loss contributing to population declines of many elasmobranchs in the Arabian Gulf. Findings provide a baseline for future work and can support the design of conservation strategies for sharks and rays in the UAE.
... While every attempt was made to achieve an evenly represented sample size, in the absence of clear data regarding ownership and consolidation, the actual representation of the sample is unknown. A semi-structured questionnaire, including pictures of species and modified from Jabado et al. (2015) to suit the local context, was administered to boat captains and crew (one from a sample of each of the companies) in Porbandar and Malvan in the local language (i.e. Gujarati and Marathi, respectively) (Appendix S1). ...
... It is critical to note that these reported declines of large-bodied sharks are from fisheries where, other than the Gujarat fishery for whale sharks during the 1980s-1990s (Vivekanandan and Zala 1994), no significant targeted shark fishery has existed. This is consistent with trends reported from the northwest Indian Ocean, China, and Madagascar, where landings of large sharks have been reduced with a simultaneous increase in landings of smallbodied animals (McVean et al. 2006;Henderson et al. 2007;Lam and Sadovy de Mitcheson 2011;Jabado et al. 2015). Simultaneously, it is interesting to note that while fishers noted declines in the overall abundance of sharks irrespective of body size, declines in catches of smallbodied sharks was relatively less discussed by respondents, despite scientific evidence that some small-bodied sharks are also currently being overexploited (e.g. ...
... Fishers and traders were only able to identify and name the most common shark species landed but were unable to separate between morphologically similar species like in many parts of the world (e.g. Jabado et al. 2015). Except for the whale shark and sawfishes listed in 2001, respondents were unaware of other national protections under the Indian Wildlife Act 1972 (Table 3). ...
Article
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.
... Estimates suggest that a quarter of shark and ray species are now threatened with extinction primarily driven by unsustainable fisheries, unprecedented bycatch, habitat destruction and illegal unreported and unregulated (IUU) practices globally [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15]. Despite their threatened statuses, elasmobranchs still represent a large component of global fisheries [11][12][13][14]. ...
... Estimates suggest that a quarter of shark and ray species are now threatened with extinction primarily driven by unsustainable fisheries, unprecedented bycatch, habitat destruction and illegal unreported and unregulated (IUU) practices globally [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15]. Despite their threatened statuses, elasmobranchs still represent a large component of global fisheries [11][12][13][14]. Fisheries target elasmobranchs for their meat and fins [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10]. ...
... Many Asian countries, and especially China, have become a hub for elasmobranch trade [3], in part due to a lack of national legislation that would protect threatened shark and ray species. China, along with an array of other Asian countries (Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand) are either importing, exporting, or both [13][14][15][16][17][18][19], thus making Asia and adjacent areas the trade hub for elasmobranchs. Unfortunately, these fisheries are largely unregulated and data on species composition is extremely limited [20]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Trade involving elasmobranch products in Bangladesh is a four-decade-long practice in large scale and there is little understanding of its impact on species composition, population, and subsequent conservation. Capacity for monitoring and identification is lacking in landing and shark processing centres. A rapid survey and collection of tissue samples were performed in three landings and nine shark processing centres between 2016 and 2017 in the south-eastern coastal region of Bangladesh. Sequencing for a 707-bp fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene was used to assess the taxonomic status and species composition from 71 elasmobranch tissue samples collected from the shark processing centre only. Good quality COI sequences were obtained for 34 specimens representing 21 species—the majority of which are threatened with extinction. A total of ten species of sharks (Carcharhinus brevipinna, C. amboinensis, C. leucas, C. sorrah, C. amblyrhynchoides, Chiloscyllium burmensis, Galeocerdo cuvier, Rhincodon typus, Scoliodon laticaudus, and Sphyrna lewini), eleven species of rays (Aetomylaeus maculatus, Gymnura poecilura, Mobula mobular, M. kuhlii, Neotrygon indica, Pateobatis uarnacoides, Rhinoptera javanica, and R. jayakari), including three species of guitarfish (Glaucostegus granulatus, G. obtusus, and G. typus), were identified. Four species (14.7% of samples) were found to be listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Appendix II. Sixteen species (59% of the specimens) were threatened with extinction according to IUCN Red List, whereas 41% were data deficient or not assessed. The results have important implications for the management of regional fisheries and the conservation of elasmobranchs as they 1) represent a preliminary understanding of elasmobranch diversity in trade; 2) depict a lack of awareness and monitoring; and 3) demonstrate a need for urgent monitoring and regulation of elasmobranch trade in Bangladesh.
... These changes revolve around the effort, fishing gear, target species, and volume of catches (Ferretti et al., 2018(Ferretti et al., , 2008Selgrath et al., 2018;Sguotti et al., 2016). For sharks, all of these changes are reflected in the vulnerability of their populations, especially for coastal species with a long history of exploitation due their proximity to human communities (Ferretti et al., 2008;Jabado et al., 2015;Lotze et al., 2006), resulting in a decrease in their capture, but not necessarily in their fishing-related mortality (Ferretti et al., 2018;Nadon et al., 2012;Roff et al., 2018). ...
... When historical data are used to evaluate shark populations, it can determine their decrease and highlight which species have been affected the most by human pressures (Ferretti et al., 2010(Ferretti et al., , 2008Ward-Paige et al., 2010). Historical information may come from a variety of sources (Thurstan et al., 2015), such as LEK, which has already been used in fisheries to assess population trends when there are no quantitative data (Early-Capistrán et al., 2018;Sáenz-Arroyo and Revollo-Fernández, 2016;Turvey et al., 2013) and to establish baselines through the characterisation of fisheries (Jabado et al., 2015). ...
... The methodology used by Jabado et al. (2015) was modified to determine which of the 20 commercial shark species registered for the state of Campeche (Bonfil, 1997) and could be easily recognised by the fishers from photographs. For this purpose, pilot interviews were conducted in four communities by asking the interviewees to identify the shark species from unlabelled photographs by its common name in Mayan or Spanish. ...
Article
Shark populations have declined worldwide. However, the lack of data for most species makes it difficult to use conventional population assessments to estimate their status. The productivity and susceptibility analysis (PSA) has been recommended for elasmobranchs as it is a data-poor assessment that uses the best available information of the species and their fisheries to determine their vulnerability. A historical characterisation was performed to define the most important periods for the shark fishery in Campeche, southern Gulf of Mexico, and a PSA was conducted to determine the vulnerability of the eleven most important commercial shark species in each three periods. The periods were defined as: local commercialisation (1940–1979), when all species had their lowest vulnerability values, and Carcharhinus leucas, Negraprion brevirostris, and Sphyrna mokarran were classified as highly vulnerable; developed industry (1980–1998) when there was an increase of the fishing pressure, and most small species changed from low to moderate vulnerability and the large coastal sharks scored their highest vulnerability values; and declining industry (1999–2018), when all species had lower vulnerability values than in the developed industry period. However, Carcharhinus brevipinna, Ginglymostoma cirratum, N. brevisrostris, C. leucas, and S. mokarran were still classified as highly vulnerable and could be suffering the accumulative effects of decades of fishing pressure. This multidisciplinary approach serves to identify the most vulnerable species throughout the history of the fishery and to understand the vulnerability values within a historical context, avoiding the shifting baseline syndrome.
... In some cases, fishers had some understanding that certain shark species were less likely to survive after catch and release fishing, and tried to release sharks in a good condition to improve their chances of survival (Lynch et al., 2010), while in others, these attitudes were not accompanied by fishing gear to improve shark survival (Heard et al., 2016). In many cases, people fishing for sharks as part of their livelihoods (e.g., commercial or industrial fishing, depending on the terminology used, or recreational fishing businesses), are not doing so as part of a "target" shark fishery; instead, they are seeking other species, such as tuna, but also catch sharks, which they might then turn into a commodity (e.g., if there is a market or dealer to whom they can sell shark meat or fins, whether or not it is legal to do so) (Jabado et al., 2015). Recreational fishing businesses may market several different species-focused expeditions, one of which may be sharks (Shiffman and Hammerschlag, 2014). ...
... In regions where fisheries monitoring data is limited or lacking, fishers can be a source of knowledge for long-term population trends; this knowledge has been recognized by researchers through the surveys of traditional or local ecological knowledge (TEK or LEK). In the Gulf Region of the United Arab Emirates, artisanal or industrial fishers have for decades been catching sharks for some part of their income, which was leveraged by Jabado et al. (2015) through LEK surveys to establish baseline information on the abundance and sizes of sharks. Similar to other long-term users of marine areas (Suman et al., 1999;Gray et al., 2010;Nayak, 2017), participating fishers felt that their knowledge was not sufficiently consulted during management planning, which in turn affected their ability to access fish (sharks and otherwise). ...
... However, the value of this partnership may go unacknowledged by fishery managers, presenting an untapped resource for gathering ecological data, while fostering stewardship through acknowledging the expertise of fishers. In developing nations, researchers associated with academic institutions are gathering experiential knowledge such as shark abundance, size trends, and market values through questionnaires, interviews, or by employing community members as data collectors (Jabado et al., 2015, Jabado, 2018Jaiteh et al., 2016a;Humber et al., 2017). These findings are shared with the academic community and others with access to scientific journals, however, pathways on how to use this in management are not explicit. ...
Article
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Relational values (RV) are values that arise from a relationship with nature, encompassing a sense of place, feelings of well-being (mental and physical health), and cultural, community, or personal identities. With sharks, such values are formed by diverse groups that interact with these animals and their ecosystems, either physically or virtually, whether a scientist, student, fisher, or media-viewer. Further, these user groups may overlap or come into conflict over management plans, media portrayals of sharks, and their conservation status. Although scientists have not explicitly aimed to assess RV through sharks, qualitative studies of shark fishers, tourism operators, tourists, and the public, as well as historical and archeological accounts, can be interpreted through an analytical lens to reveal values which can also be defined as relational. To this end, this review considers studies capturing RV alongside those of economic value (increasingly, the value of a shark is appraised by their financial value in shark tourism) and the social and cultural roles of sharks. Based on these studies and the broader RV literature, we then outline a workflow for how RV can be leveraged in scientific inquiry, equitable resource management, and education. We conclude that via collaborative assessments of RV, with implicit inclusion of multiple values of sharks and by acknowledging their importance to all parties involved in user conflicts, the RV framework can lead to a constructive dialog on polarizing conservation and management issues. By illuminating shared values, and/or revealing dichotomies of values ascribed toward certain areas or objects, this framework can provide inroads to mediation, seeking to conserve or even restore relationships with nature, and their derived values as much as is possible. This approach can yield unexpected knowledge, solutions, and compromises in an increasingly complex conservation landscape.
... The most valued product is the fins sold at a very high price in the international fin markets. Several other Asian countries are involved in the fin trade, including; Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, and Thailand, with China the dominant importer and exporter (Clarke et al., 2006;Jabado et al., 2015;Dent and Clarke, 2015;Steinke et al., 2017;Spaet and Berumen, 2015;Cardeñosa et al., 2017;Haque et al., 2018Haque et al., , 2019Fischer et al., 2012). In Bangladesh, highly desirable elasmobranch products, including those of rhino rays, have been traded after targeted fishing or by-catch for more than four decades. ...
... The solution has to be within a sustainable fisheries model (Jabado et al., 2015). A logical first step to guide and prioritize actions for these species is a global conservation planning exercise. ...
... In data-poor regions, fishers' knowledge can act as tremendous proxies for scientific information (Jabado et al., 2015;Bonfil et al., 2018;Liao et al., 2019;Patankar, 2019;Braulik et al., 2020). Perceived knowledge from fishers can provide valuable insights into the impacts of fishing communities on the marine ecosystem (Jabado et al., 2014). ...
Article
Rhinopristioid rays are among the most globally threatened cartilaginous fishes, almost all of which are Critically Endangered. Fishery pressure and lack of knowledge, especially where these elasmobranch fish overlap their habitats off developing countries in the Indo-West Pacific, impede their biological conservation which in turns result in unnoticed population depletion. Rhino rays are an important component of the Bangladeshi artisanal fishery; however, an understanding of these fisheries and their trade is limited. Fishers and traders were interviewed between June 2018 and June 2019 in four areas of southeast Bangladesh to characterize rhino ray fishing, trade and fishers' perception of population trends. All interviewed fishers reported lifelong rhino ray catch in sizable numbers and noted a steep decline in the catch over time, especially for Rhynchobatus spp. Seven species were documented-not only targeted by un-baited longlines but also by-caught in gillnets and set-bag nets. Unregulated and undocumented catch fuelled by substantial international trade to Myanmar on high-quality skin, meat and fins; and national usages of meat, liver, cartilages and intestines. Between 9000 and 33000 kg (avg. 23000 kg) of rhino rays were bought annually by each trader during 2015-2018. Southcentral shallow-water char (sand island) areas are perceived as essential habitats, hence providing important fishing grounds. The predominant threats are overexploitation by unselective gear use, bottom trawling, target catch, international trade and source of protein and income. Compliance with international trade control treaties or the Bangladeshi law was low, with most fishers (78%) unaware of specific regulation regarding rhino rays. It is crucial to adopt precautionary principles to prevent further rhino ray population declines. We propose a combination of actions rooted in sustainability and inclusiveness in this regard; e.g. a) trade mitigation, monitoring and enforcement, b) need for sustainable fisheries management regimes, c) need for habitat protection; finally, d) the importance of fishers' inclusiveness in conservation decision making.
... Thereby, LEK should be analyzed as any other information and applied where it makes a difference in the quality of research and in the involvement of fishers in decisions that will affect them (Huntington, 2000). Previous pilot studies conducted around the world focused on fishers' perceptions about reef degradation (Bunce et al., 2008) and status of sharks (Jabado et al., 2015) and were based on a small number of interviews that were not representative of the country fishers' population but provided useful information. In the case of shark fishery, the interviews provided insights into local fishers' perception and a muchneeded baseline for future investigations (Jabado et al., 2015). ...
... Previous pilot studies conducted around the world focused on fishers' perceptions about reef degradation (Bunce et al., 2008) and status of sharks (Jabado et al., 2015) and were based on a small number of interviews that were not representative of the country fishers' population but provided useful information. In the case of shark fishery, the interviews provided insights into local fishers' perception and a muchneeded baseline for future investigations (Jabado et al., 2015). LEK was also assessed to identify shark habitats and fishers were a rich source of information that confirmed the presence of sharks (Rasalato et al., 2010). ...
... Fishers may have the perception that catch information could eventually be used as a tool against them to place restrictions and regulations (Jabado et al., 2015) which may be related to the demonstration of lack of concern regarding sharks' exploitation status and protection needs. ...
Article
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The high economic value of fisheries was historically associated to commercial teleost fishes. Since the 1970s, despite some elasmobranchs becoming an important target or a bycatch, relatively little research has been carried out on this group because of their low economic value. Due to their specific life history characteristics, sharks and rays are particularly vulnerable to overexploitation, taking several decades to recover after reaching an overexploitation status. In Portugal elasmobranch fishery results mainly from targeted longlining and bycatch from different fishing gears. During the last decade, the Total Allowable Catches (TACs) of rays have been decreasing, the European Union (EU) banned the capture of some ray species, the Portuguese government implemented both a closed season and a minimum landing size for some rays, and the EU prohibited target fishing for sharks. All these measures may have been highly responsible for the national and local landings reduction. Official landings from the last decade were analyzed, the landed species conservation status was consulted, and structured interviews using a questionnaire were conducted in the most important fishing port in the Portuguese mainland, the port of Sesimbra. Results led us to conclude that fishers’ answers and landings data did not match. It also revealed a lack of awareness by fishers about the state of shark and ray populations, and about some aspects of their biology and ecology, like reproduction season and method. The present study highlights the need to fill in this existing gap in knowledge through the transfer of scientific knowledge and sharing of management responsibilities. Also, we aimed to demonstrate the necessity for awareness and education activities within fishing communities, an essential step to elasmobranch conservation.
... Currently observed declines precede previous reported collapses of coastal-and pelagic sharks by several decades, and the magnitude of species decline is increasing globally [12]. Similarly, shark populations in the Gulf are severely threatened due to unregulated fisheries and international trade in shark products [13,14]. ...
... fisheries are largely driven by shark fin export markets and that the U.A.E. act as a global export center for the international shark fin trade with reports of exports up to 500 metric ton annually to Hong Kong [13]. Nonetheless, much of the shark trade remains unregulated, and because different species have various natural capacities to adapt to anthropogenic pressures, management and conservation efforts will necessitate accurate species-specific capture and trade data. ...
... U.A.E. fishermen have also reported a general decline in shark catches, abundance, and species size [13]. This strongly suggests that the shark fishery is currently been overexploited. ...
Article
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Challenges that relate to shark conservation may well be a combination of the intersection of people's livelihoods and the ineffectiveness of management strategies. Given the current protection initiatives as well as the implementation of tighter laws restricting hunting and trade, shark conservation is still recognized as a major environmental challenge. The United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) is used as an export hub and is one of the primary exporters of shark fins to Hong Kong, with a large proportion of fins traded to be from species at high risk of global extinction. The present-day management of shark fisheries also shows shortcomings concerning lawfulness, specifically those relating to regulatory compliance, fishing techniques, and control of finning occurrences. These concerns are not unique to the U.A.E. but emphasize the fact that there are far-reaching problems related to shark conservation. Even in a milieu of strengthened conservation measures and revised legislature, existing information on the effectiveness of a shark finning ban may still be misleading when viewed in the light of over-exploitation and global species abundance. It is therefore important that proper management must be implemented at the inception of shark fisheries. For the U.A.E., this has not always been the case. Instead, the trend was one of limited control and lack of compliance, unfortunately, resulting in a rapid decline in shark abundance, to the point where sharks struggle to recover. This paper focuses on the importance of the species, reviews the current monitoring framework, and seeks to enhance shark protection.
... In addition, the WCSA, 2012 protects 29 species of elasmobranchs (Haque et al., 2018) in Bangladesh's territorial waters. Yet, conservation actions and management policies, for them to be effective, need accurate species-specific catch and trade data (Jabado et al., 2015;White et al., 2013;O'Bryhim et al., 2017;Cardeñosa et al., 2019) andmarket understanding (McNamara et al., 2016) involving different actors and mechanisms (Oyanedel et al., 2021). This data gap has restricted the quantitative and qualitative understanding of the market character, actors' involvement, product flow, and management needs of the elasmobranch trade in Bangladesh (Dent and Clarke, 2015). ...
... Liver oil factory owners and fish feed workers were identified during visits at liver oil factories in Cox's Bazar and fish feed factories in Dhaka. Stakeholder-specific semi-structured questionnaires were designed for traders (n = 57) and fish feed workers (n = 10) partially based on Jabado et al., 2015. Before each interview, verbal permission to conduct the interview and use the data for scientific purposes was obtained from each interviewee. ...
... The most sought-after and most valuable species (i.e. hammerhead sharks, pigeye sharks, bull sharks, hammerhead sharks, tiger sharks, sawfishes, wedgefishes and guitarfishes) (Okes and Sent, 2019;Clarke et al., 2007;Jabado et al., 2015;Jabado, 2018;Kyne et al., 2020;Haque et al., 2020) are also the most vulnerable, globally, based on IUCN Red List criteria (IUCN, 2021). Our study showed that, based on interviews with elasmobranch traders, the majority of elasmobranch products were exported to Myanmar between 2014 and 2017 as a conduit to China and Hong Kong. ...
Article
Trade in elasmobranch products is a circum-global practice negatively impacting elasmobranch populations. Although Asia is at the centre of the shark fin trade, countries like Bangladesh, remain data-poor regarding trade dynamics. In the Bay of Bengal region, Bangladesh has a long-standing history of producing and trading products from vulnerable and protected elasmobranchs both nationally and internationally. A limited understanding of trade currently precludes Bangladesh from enforcing regulations effectively and taking timely conservation actions. To address this knowledge gap, we characterized elasmobranch trade by identifying stakeholders involved in national and international trade, routes used, trade hubs, and ports in Bangladesh. We found that most of the trade remains unreported and violates the Wildlife (Conservation and Security) Act, 2012 and CITES mandates. We identified the south-eastern region as a trade hub with a syndicate of traders annually exporting elasmobranch products predominantly to China via Myanmar. High-quality fins and dried meat drive international trade, including products from Critically Endangered sawfish (Pristidae), guitarfishes (Glaucostegidae, Rhinobatidae), wedgefishes (Rhinidae), hammerhead sharks (Sphyrnidae), and large requiem sharks (Carcharhinidae). Also prevalent is a substantial national demand for elasmobranchs for consumption and traditional medicinal uses. Apart from limited alternatives, a low efficiency of acquiring maximum profits in trading other fishery products, an inequality of profit sharing and limited awareness of laws amongst traders results in their non-compliance towards the Wildlife Act, 2012. Along with amendments to this national Act, it is essential to protect threatened species beyond just legal regimes. Enhanced monitoring and inclusive policies are essential for disincentivizing traders to trade such products.
... Catch data from landing sites in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) show that two of the main species landed by the commercial fishery are the milk shark, Rhizoprionodon acutus, and the slit-eye shark, Loxodon macrorhinus (Jabado et al., 2014a). While these species seem to be abundant, there are concerns that fishing is over-exploiting their stocks (Jabado et al., 2014b). Understanding the feeding patterns of these species is therefore necessary in order to assess their influence on marine ecosystems in the Arabian/Persian Gulf (hereby referred to as 'the Gulf'). ...
... Furthermore, the low proportion of identifiable prey also contributed to the difficulties in providing a thorough assessment of the diets. The high level of unidentifiable prey present in the stomach is most likely due to rapid digestion times in these species, as the fishing vessels that captured these species spend limited hours at sea (Jabado et al., 2014b), indicating that digestion could not have progressed much before landings. On the other hand, the proportion of specimens with empty stomachs in this study was lower than previously reports from other studies for both of these species as well as other sharks (Stevens and McLoughlin, 1991;Ba et al., 2013;Gutteridge et al., 2013). ...
Article
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The diets of the milk shark, Rhizoprionodon acutus, and the slit-eye shark, Loxodon macrorhinus, landed from the artisanal fishery in the Arabian Gulf waters of the United Arab Emirates were investigated to determine their dietary preferences. Stomach contents from 57 milk sharks and 53 slit eye sharks were collected from Abu Dhabi (R. acutus, n = 23), Dubai (R. acutus, n = 5; L. macrorhinus, n = 15) and Ras Al Khaimah (R. acutus, n = 29; L. macrorhinus, n = 38) during fishery surveys from January to May 2012. Prey items were identified to the lowest possible taxonomic level, grouped into five categories including ‘teleost fish’, ‘cephalopods’, ‘crustaceans’, ‘invertebrates’, and ‘other’. The diets of both species were described using the numeric, frequency and weight methods, and the index of relative importance (IRI). The majority of stomachs for both species had food, with 66.6% of milk shark stomachs and 90.5% of slit-eye shark stomachs containing prey items, both dominated by small teleosts. Rhizoprionodon acutus fed on a wide variety of teleost species, primarily Engraulidae (anchovies) (28%), Gerreidae (mojarras) (5.6%) and Carangidae (jacks) (1.6%) with occasional crustacean and cephalopod prey (8%). On the other hand, L. macrorhinus seemed to have a preference for one species in terms of teleosts (anchovies) (35.1%) and fed on a wider variety of crustaceans and cephalopods (22.6%). There was little overlap in the diets of these two species, suggesting that they may either be using different habitats or that in these waters, the milk shark is a generalist species while the slit-eye is a specialist feeder.
... We used anecdotal information gathered systematically from fishers (hereafter fishers' knowledge) [23] to infer marine finfish disappearances [24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38] because this is the only available information source on catch trends of the ca. 1658 Philippine reef fish species over the past 40-60 years. ...
... This paper contributes to the growing evidence for dramatic declines of vulnerable reef fish species in a highly species-rich but data-depauperate setting [30,35,38,88]. Fishers' knowledge provides evidence of local extinction vulnerability of many finfish species [24,28,32,33,37,79,[130][131][132] and the links of this to life-history traits [27,[44][45][46][47][48][49], overexploitation [27,43,44] and socio-economic drivers [50,51] of depletions. Our robust modelling [31,[133][134][135] of these data is novel for this global epicentre of coastal species diversity and highlights the value of fishers' knowledge in providing evidence for declines in vulnerable species in abundances at large spatial and temporal scales. ...
Article
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In the Philippines, very high fishing pressure coincides with the globally greatest number of shorefish species, yet no long-term fisheries data are available to explore species-level changes that may have occurred widely in the most species rich and vulnerable marine ecosystem, namely coral reefs. Through 2655 face-to-face interviews conducted between August 2012 and July 2014, we used fishers’ recall of past catch rates of reef-associated finfish to infer species disappearances from catches in five marine key biodiversity areas (Lanuza Bay, Danajon Bank, Verde Island Passage, Polillo Islands and Honda Bay). We modeled temporal trends in perceived catch per unit effort (CPUE) based on fishers’ reports of typical good days’ catches using Generalized Linear Mixed Modelling. Fifty-nine different finfish disappeared from catches between the 1950s and 2014; 42 fish were identified to species level, two to genus, seven to family and eight to local name only. Five species occurring at all sites with the greatest number of fishers reporting zero catches were the green bumphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum), humphead wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus), African pompano (Alectis ciliaris), giant grouper (Epinephelus lanceolatus) and mangrove red snapper (Lutjanus argentimaculatus). Between the 1950s and 2014, the mean perceived CPUE of bumphead parrotfish declined by 88%, that of humphead wrasse by 82%, African pompano by 66%, giant grouper by 74% and mangrove red snapper by 64%. These declines were mainly associated with excess and uncontrolled fishing, fish life-history traits like maximum body size and socio-economic factors like access to market infrastructure and services, and overpopulation. The fishers’ knowledge is indicative of extirpations where evidence for these losses was otherwise lacking. Our models provide information as basis for area-based conservation and regional resource management particularly for the more vulnerable, once common, large, yet wide-ranging reef finfish species.
... USA, NMFS 2001), no country in the region has so far undertaken any such studies on sharks and rays (De Young, 2006;IOTC 2013). While some fishery dependent surveys, and interviews with fishermen indicate that certain areas may be nursery grounds and large numbers of juveniles are reported from landing sites, research has not been undertaken to investigate critical habitats (Bonfil & Abdallah, 2004;Hariri et al., 2002;Henderson et al., 2004;Jabado et al., 2014;. There is the possibility of localized depletion, stock collapse or local extirpations, unless appropriate measures are put in place to better manage vulnerable, coastal species. ...
... superciliosus) form a major part of the trade in the UAE, comprising nearly 6% of all shark and ray species traded and are reportedly landed in significant numbers in Oman during potential inshore migrations(Jabado, Al Ghais, Hamza, Henderson, et al., 2015). Furthermore, guitarfishes seem to be relatively unimportant for the regional fisheries, although there appears to be a growing market as they are valued both for their fins and meat(Jabado, Al Ghais, Hamza, & Henderson, 2014;Moore et al., 2012;. ...
Article
The Arabian Seas Region plays an important role in the global landings and trade of sharks and rays. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Yemen, two countries with stark socioeconomic differences, serve as major regional trade hubs for shark and ray products and four countries (Oman, Pakistan, UAE and Yemen) supply nearly 11% of dried fin exports to Hong Kong. Yet, little information is available on the characteristics of this trade and the fisheries contributing to it. Here, we review the fisheries characteristics , trade, utilization and distribution chain of sharks and rays in 15 countries of the Arabian Seas Region based on published and grey literature, landing surveys, field observations and interviews with fishermen and traders. Although regional shark fisheries remain mostly artisanal, reported shark and ray landings represent 28% of the regional total fish production, reaching 56,074 mt in 2012 (7.3% of total world catches), with Iran, Oman, Pakistan and Yemen ranking as the primary catchers. Utilization and distribution patterns are complex, vary between landing sites and countries, and remain unmonitored. Based on widespread over-exploitation of most teleost fisheries, current exploitation levels for most sharks and rays are potentially unsustainable. The situation is exacerbated by limited research and political will to support policy development, the incomplete nature of fisheries data, as well as insufficient regulations and enforcement. A better understanding of shark and ray fisheries will be key for regulating trade, promoting conservation and developing management initiatives to secure food security, livelihoods and biodiversity conservation in the region. K E Y W O R D S chondrichthyans, conservation, extinction risk, fin trade, fisheries management, sustainability
... In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), 15 MPAs cover almost 12% of the UAE's Exclusive Economic Zone aiming to protect and conserve marine biodiversity (MPAtlas, 2018;Mateos-Molina et al., 2021). Furthermore, in an attempt to halt elasmobranch population declines in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the government has issued a series of legislations and Ministerial Decrees to regulate the fishing and trade in sharks and rays (Jabado et al., 2015a;MOCCAE, 2020). While these serve as a robust legal framework to regulate fisheries and reduce pressure on these populations in UAE waters, as well as suggest political will to support elasmobranch conservation, monitoring and enforcement remain a challenge as with other countries globally. ...
... Yet, it is improbable that the SBN MPA would have had low abundances of elasmobranchs prior to its establishment in 2000. Interviews with fishers in the UAE have consistently pointed to this location as being one of the hotspots for many elasmobranch species, including sawfishes (family Pristidae) which are one of the most threatened groups of marine fish around the world (Jabado et al., 2015a(Jabado et al., , 2015bJabado et al., 2017). Therefore, it is likely that the low abundances recorded here are a true reflection of the present state of declining elasmobranch stocks in the region as previously reported (Jabado et al., 2018a). ...
Article
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are increasingly advocated for the protection of key functional groups like elasmobranchs (sharks and rays). However, substantial uncertainty remains regarding which species can benefit from MPAs, crucial information to support policy and management plans. Using Baited Remote Underwater Video Surveys (BRUVS), a study was conducted on Sir Bu Nair Island in the United Arab Emirates encompassing a range of depths and habitat types within the MPA borders. A total of 96 deployments with 117 video hours recorded were analysed to assess the diversity, relative abundance and habitat associations of elasmobranchs. Surveys recorded 40 elasmobranchs including two species of sharks and seven species of rays. Overall, catch per unit effort for elasmobranchs was slightly higher overall, lower for sharks, and higher for rays compared to a similar study using BRUVS across United Arab Emirates waters. Two reef-associated species in early life stages, blacktip reef shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus) and Halavi guitarfish (Glaucostegus halavi) listed as Near Threatened and Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species respectively showed the highest frequency of occurrence of species representing 44.4% of all sightings. These results show the value of this MPA in protecting critical habitats for elasmobranchs while suggesting its limitation in protecting adult life stages and other elasmobranchs with wider ranging movements that are likely threatened by fishing in waters adjacent to the MPA. This study provides critical information to support the development of a Sir Bu Nair management plan and highlights further research needs around the island. Finally, it reinforces the need of additional management measures to protect and promote the recovery of elasmobranchs in the United Arab Emirates and broader Arabian Gulf.
... Even in developed countries like Oman sharks are widely consumed and have formed the basis of many traditional food dishes (Henderson et al., 2006). Further, in the United Arab Emirates, fishers confirmed that the consumption of sharks has been integrated in their culture and has traditionally been consumed (Jabado et al., 2015). ...
... For example, species such as Mako sharks, Thresher sharks, and Hammerhead sharks are considered high quality and priced higher by fishers and traders, which concurs with the international shark meat market (Hanfee, 1999;Lehr, 2015;Rose, 1996). Similarly, fishers in the United Arab Emirates reported several species of sharks they considered most valuable, which included Hammerhead Sharks (Jabado et al., 2015). In contrast to the sale prices in Ghana, Bull shark were reported to fetch the highest price, resulting from their larger sizes in Zanzibar (Barrowclift et al., 2017). ...
Article
Small-scale shark fisheries support the livelihoods of a large number of coastal communities in developing countries. Shark meat comprises a cheap source of protein and is traded locally in many parts in developing countries, while the skins, oil, and fins are exported to the international market. This study addresses a gap in literature regarding the importance of elasmobranchs to key shark-fishing communities and the degree to which trade in shark products (meat and fins) vary in time and among fishing communities in Ghana. We interviewed 85 fishers and traders involved in shark fisheries in Axim, Dixcove, and Shama communities using semi-structured questionnaires. Fishing was the primary source of income and accounted for 58.5% of the total household income of respondents. Other important economic activities were fish processing (16.0%), fish retailing (13.3%), and small businesses (2.5%). One-third and often two-thirds of respondents generated between 80% and 100% of their income from shark fisheries: Axim (65%), Dixcove (68%), and Shama (35%). Shark meat consumption was common among fishers and traders and represents a substantial source of protein in the diet of the study communities. Hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna spp) and Bull Shark (Carcharhinus leucas) have the most valuable fins and meat. Further, 75% and 95% of fishers and traders, respectively, see fishing and trading of shark meat as their last safety-net and, therefore, tend to be satisfied with their jobs. Non-fishing related livelihood streams including small businesses and transportation were the major fallback activities both fishers and traders preferred to rely on if there is a ban on the exploitation of sharks in Ghana. Overexploitation of these species will compromise food ecosystem functionality and security. Thus, any shark management strategy needs to urgently restraint mortality to sustainable levels, which, in the short-term, must take into consideration the preferred livelihood fallback options outlined by fishers and traders, and implement them to ensure the long-term benefits of the intervention.
... Similar to other parts of the world [33,38], fishers in Ghana were unable to taxonomically differentiate between morphologically similar species pairs such as G. cemiculus and R. rhinobatos, as well as R. albomaculatus and R. irvinei. Thus, the inability of fishers to distinguish morphologically similar species of guitarfishes prompted their responses to focus on the two categories of large-bodied individuals and small-bodied individuals, which seems to be well-known to most fishers in the study communities. ...
... Most traders then slice the fresh meat, salt and sun-dry or smoke them before they are destined for the local Ghanaian markets to be sold for local consumption. The high consumption of rhino rays in the various fishing communities reflects the consumption patterns of shark meat in other localities in Indian Ocean [82], United Arab Emirates [38], Madagascar [16], and the other West African countries [50]. ...
Article
Rhino rays, such as guitarfishes, are increasingly targeted or retained as incidental catch and have become an economically important component in fisheries worldwide. Despite their importance, information about the catch and socioeconomics of these fisheries are virtually non-existent in West Africa. We address a significant knowledge gap about the characteristics and drivers of guitarfish fisheries in four key ray-fishing communities in the Western and Central Regions in Ghana. We conducted landing and market surveys of guitarfishes over 80 days from November 2020 to August 2021. We also interviewed 51 fishers actively involved in the guitarfish fishery across the four communities during this period using semi-structured interviews. The findings confirm the likely disappearance of sawfishes Pristis spp., as most fishers have not captured any in their lifetime. We also confirm no known catches of the African wedgefish Rhynchobatus luebberti. Our surveys documented 537 individuals from four guitarfish species across the various landing and market sites. The spineback guitarfish (Rhinobatos irvinei) was the most frequently landed species comprising 71 % (n = 383) of all guitarfishes, with 57 % of the specimens not yet sexually mature. Most fishers (71 %) stated that catches of the two larger guitarfishes (blackchin guitarfish Glaucostegus cemiculus and common guitarfish Rhinobatos rhinobatos) have declined by 80–90 % based on their recollection. At the same time, over half (59 %) of the fishers indicated that the catches of the smaller guitarfishes (spineback guitarfish and whitespotted guitarfish Rhinobatos albomaculatus) have declined by 40–60 %. The main drivers for the catch or retention of guitarfishes were for both international trade of their fins, and meat which are both traded locally (45 % of 51 fishers) and used as a source of food for local consumption (37 %). While we know high economic value drives the catch and trade of giant guitarfishes and wedgefishes, we show that this trade extends to the other guitarfish species. The interviews and contemporary pattern of catches are consistent with a serial depletion of rhino rays from the largest, most valuable species to the remaining smaller-bodied, less valuable guitarfishes. We recommend the development of national regulations for their protection complemented by education programs to ensure that fishers are aware of the threatened status of guitarfishes.
... Although the concepts of elasmobranch research and conservation are relatively new in this region (Haldar, 2010;Hussain & Hoq, 2010), fishers hold decades of local knowledge, which, in the absence of historical data, can serve as a tremendous source of longterm trends and patterns. In many cases, declines and regional extinctions of marine species often go undocumented, but can be inferred from local knowledge (Dulvy & Polunin, 2004;Jabado et al., 2015;Abudaya et al., 2018;Mason et al., 2020). Additionally, fishers are key stakeholders and can provide socio-ecological perception and knowledge on natural resource conservation needs (McNeill, Clifton & Harvey, 2018), existing legislation and trade, which are all essential for developing effective conservation strategies (Jabado et al., 2015;Liao, Huang & Lu, 2019;Patankar, 2019;Mason et al., 2020;Ward-Paige, Brunnschweiler & Sykes, 2020). ...
... In many cases, declines and regional extinctions of marine species often go undocumented, but can be inferred from local knowledge (Dulvy & Polunin, 2004;Jabado et al., 2015;Abudaya et al., 2018;Mason et al., 2020). Additionally, fishers are key stakeholders and can provide socio-ecological perception and knowledge on natural resource conservation needs (McNeill, Clifton & Harvey, 2018), existing legislation and trade, which are all essential for developing effective conservation strategies (Jabado et al., 2015;Liao, Huang & Lu, 2019;Patankar, 2019;Mason et al., 2020;Ward-Paige, Brunnschweiler & Sykes, 2020). ...
Article
1. Devil rays (Mobula spp.) are globally threatened cartilaginous fishes that have attracted global conservation concern owing to their high extinction risk and lack of protection in many countries. Limited resources and data on threatened marine species, including devil rays, impede conservation actions, particularly in developing countries, many of which have high biodiversity. 2. Devil ray catch is a component of artisanal fisheries in Bangladesh, but data on their fisheries and trade are limited. To characterize devil ray fishing practices, fishers’ perception and trade, 230 fishers and traders were interviewed between 4 June 2018 and 22 June 2019, in four areas of south-east Bangladesh. Catch data were also opportunistically collected at landing sites. 3. Six devil ray species were documented, caught in an array of gill nets, set-bag nets and longlines. All interviewed fishers reported life-long devil ray bycatch in some numbers, and also noted a decline in catch over the last decade. Bottom trawling, increased bycatch levels, increased demand for devil ray products and, in some cases, ecosystem changes were identified by fishers as threats to devil ray populations. 4. Unregulated and undocumented trade and retained bycatch, especially by gill nets and set-bag nets, are fuelled by local consumption of devil ray meat and international trade in meat and gill rakers. Compliance with international trade control treaties for all Mobula spp. or the Bangladeshi law protecting Mobula mobular was low, with the majority of fishers (87%, n = 174) unaware of their existence. 5. To manage devil ray fisheries, and prevent possible population declines, we propose a combination of legally enforced gear modifications, and catch and trade control through community-owned implementation strategies. Additionally, we propose the simultaneous implementation of inclusive, community-based awareness and stewardship projects in conjunction with a coast-wide ray monitoring programme. Finally, we emphasize that more research and action rooted in a sustainable fishery model is urgently needed to protect Bangladeshi devil ray populations.
... Therefore, the questionnaire was designed with indirect indicators to find bycatch potential of certain fishing practices, net types and operations. The questionnaire developed by Goetz et al. (2013) for the coast of the north-western Spain was used as the basis for design, and additional questions were introduced based on several published studies (Dmitrieva et al., 2013;Jabado et al., 2015) from the Black, Mediterranean and Caspian Seas, the Persian Gulf, the West African coast, as well as previous experience by the authors. Questions on fleet segment, intensity and duration of operations, net types, target and main discard species, cetacean behaviour near the fishing operations, personal attitude of fishermen, depredation by cetaceans, all kinds of bycatch (including fish and birds), survival of bycaught animals, intensity and dynamics of interactions with fisheries were included into questionnaires (Annex A). ...
Technical Report
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Report presenting results of conducted cetaceans' bycatch monitoring and estimation of bycatch levels in the Black Sea
... Records of C. plumbeus from the northern Indian Ocean exist primarily from the Red Sea, the Arabian Gulf and the Arabian Sea (Henderson et al., 2008;Jabado et al., 2014bJabado et al., , 2015Spaet & Berumen, 2015) and indicate that this species is either not abundant in this region or has limited interactions with regional fisheries. The latter is unlikely due to the nature of fisheries in the region, which are multi-species and multi-gear (Balan et al., 1987;Jabado et al., 2014a). However, it indicates that this species is wide-ranging and that, given the limited capacity in shark identification in the northern Arabian Sea area, it may have been previously landed but misidentified or has gone unreported. ...
Article
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The sandbar shark, Carcharhinus plumbeus, is a common coastal shark in the regions of the world where it occurs. Here, the first documented record of the sandbar shark is reported from north-western Indian waters, off the coast of Gujarat. Two specimens, one male and one female, were recorded and landed by a trawl vessel in Porbandar on 23 October 2014, measuring 610 and 760 mm in total length, respectively. This occurrence represents the first confirmed record of C. plumbeus in both western and eastern Indian waters.
... Given that the Ministry of Fisheries aims to further develop the fisheries sector and its output, this growth, if not regulated and managed in a sustainable manner, could lead to further declines in giant guitarfish populations, similar to those documented from the east coast of India and neighbouring countries (Directorate General of Capture Fisheries DGCF, 2015; 2017; Kyne et al., 2020;Mohanraj et al., 2009;Haque and Spaet, 2021). While this study did not focus on evaluating the impact of fisheries on giant guitarfishes, studies from Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates have highlighted the impact that artisanal fisheries can have on these species (Jabado et al., 2014;. Given that artisanal fisheries are the most prominent form of fisheries in the Andamans (Advani et al., 2013), they represent a significant threat to giant guitarfish. ...
Article
For elusive, data-poor marine fauna, Local Ecological Knowledge (LEK) can be a rich and often underutilised source of biological and ecological data. We used a socio-ecological approach to assess LEK and provide key insights into the distribution, habitat use pattern, and threats facing giant guitarfishes (Glaucostegus spp.) in the Andaman Islands, India. We interviewed 175 fishers and other coastal users (SCUBA divers, coastal residents, researchers etc.), 142 of whom had seen giant guitarfishes. Due to the difficulty in distinguishing between species of this genus, this study did not attempt to collect species specific data. However, data presented here most likely refer to the Giant Guitarfish (Glaucostegus typus) as it is the only species from this family confirmed from the Andaman Islands. Our results show that LEK can be an invaluable asset in understanding the distribution of little-known species. With sightings from over 70 locations, our data indicate that giant guitarfishes occur widely and the frequent sightings of pup-sized (<45 cm) individuals in shallow coastal waters suggests they could be using these habitats as nursery grounds. The identification of several potential nursery areas highlights locations of their range that need urgent protection to aid in their conservation. The only other location where G. typus is reportedly still frequently observed is northern Australia, making the Andaman Island population globally significant. However, rapid coastal transformation and growing fisheries likely threaten the species. With more than 33% of reported observations being over a decade old, our data suggest that populations have drastically declined, highlighting the need to regulate fisheries and coastal development in the Andamans. Including giant guitarfishes under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act would also be an essential step towards managing this globally important population.
... The operational range of vessels landing into sites in Oman tends to be small, generally limited to within a few kilometers of the landing site (Henderson et al. 2007). Fishermen in the UAE remain in Gulf waters, yet they are known to travel up to 130-185 km from their landing sites to find productive fishing grounds (Jabado et al. 2014b). The majority of Bahrain specimens were caught in local Bahraini waters (Moore and Peirce 2013) although some may have come from nearby Saudi Arabian or Qatari waters. ...
Article
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The northwestern Indian Ocean harbors a number of larger marine vertebrate taxa that warrant the investigation of genetic population structure given remarkable spatial heterogeneity in biological characteristics such as distribution, behavior, and morphology. Here, we investigate the genetic population structure of four commercially exploited shark species with different biological characteristics (Carcharhinus limbatus, Carcharhinus sorrah, Rhizoprionodon acutus, and Sphyrna lewini) between the Red Sea and all other water bodies surrounding the Arabian Peninsula. To assess intraspecific patterns of connectivity, we constructed statistical parsimony networks among haplotypes and estimated (1) population structure; and (2) time of most recent population expansion, based on mitochondrial control region DNA and a total of 20 microsatellites. Our analysis indicates that, even in smaller, less vagile shark species, there are no contemporary barriers to gene flow across the study region, while historical events, for example, Pleistocene glacial cycles, may have affected connectivity in C. sorrah and R. acutus. A parsimony network analysis provided evidence that Arabian S. lewini may represent a population segment that is distinct from other known stocks in the Indian Ocean, raising a new layer of conservation concern. Our results call for urgent regional cooperation to ensure the sustainable exploitation of sharks in the Arabian region.
... Some of this effort may be aimed at species outside of the IOTC mandate, including small pelagic fish in estuarine habitats (FAO, 2014;Sekadende et al., 2020). There is also a sizeable bottomset gill net sector that uses slightly larger mesh nets to target sharks and rays, particularly in the northern Indian Ocean (the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, and western coast of Indonesia), in eastern Africa and in Western Australia (Henderson et al., 2007;Jabado, Al Ghais, Hamza, & Henderson, 2015;Temple et al., 2018). Standardized gill net subcategories-even if they were broad-would greatly improve our knowledge and understanding of this important sector. ...
Article
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By-catch is the most significant direct threat marine megafauna face at the global scale. However, the magnitude and spatial patterns of megafauna by-catch are still poorly understood, especially in regions with very limited monitoring and expanding fisheries. The Indian Ocean is a globally important region for megafauna biodiversity and for tuna fisheries, but has limited by-catch data. Anecdotal and scattered information indicates high by-catch could be a major threat. Here, we adapt a Productivity Susceptibility Analysis tool designed for data-poor contexts to present the first spatially explicit estimates of by-catch risk of sea turtles, elasmobranchs, and cetaceans in the three major tuna fishing gears (purse seines, longlines, and drift gill nets). Our assessment highlights a potential opportunity for multi-taxa conservation benefits by concentrating management efforts in particular coastal regions. Most coastal waters in the northern Indian Ocean, including countries that have had a minimal engagement with regional management bodies, stand out as high risk for fisheries interactions. In addition to species known to occur in tuna gears, we find high vulnerability to multiple gear types for many poorly known elasmobranchs that do not fall under any existing conservation and management measures. Our results indicate that current by-catch mitigation measures, which focus on safe-release practices, are unlikely to adequately reduce the substantial cumulative fishing impacts on vulnerable species. Preventative solutions that reduce interactions with non-target species (such as closed areas or seasons, or modifications to gear and fishing tactics) are crucial for alleviating risks to megafauna from fisheries.
... Given the limited data available on sharks in the region (Jabado & Spaet, 2017;Spaet, Cochran, & Berumen, 2011;Spaet, Thorrold, et al., 2011), increasing evidence of depleted shark populations (Clarke, Lea, & Ormond, 2013;Henderson, McIlwain, Al-Oufi, & Al-Sheili, 2007;Spaet, Nanninga, & Berumen, 2016), and alarming reports of local fishermen revealing declines in shark abundance of up to 80% (Jabado, Al Ghais, Hamza, & Henderson, 2015;Almojil, 2016), there is an urgent need to provide the basic science required for the conservation of these animals. Here, we used microsatellite markers to investigate the population structure of two regionally exploited (Henderson et al., 2007;Jabado & Spaet, 2017; shark species, the spot-tail shark Carcharhinus sorrah and the blacktip shark C. limbatus. ...
Article
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The increase in demand for shark meat and fins has placed shark populations worldwide under high fishing pressure. In the Arabian region, the spot-tail shark Carcharhinus sorrah and the Blacktip shark Carcharhinus limbatus are among the most exploited species. In this study, we investigated the population genetic structure of C. sorrah (n = 327) along the coasts of the Arabian Peninsula and of C. limbatus (n = 525) along the Arabian coasts, Pakistan, and KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, using microsatellite markers (15 and 11 loci, respectively). Our findings support weak population structure in both species. Carcharhinus sorrah exhibited a fine structure, subdividing the area into three groups. The first group comprises all samples from Bahrain, the second from the UAE and Yemen, and the third from Oman. Similarly, C. limbatus exhibited population subdivision into three groups. The first group, comprising samples from Bahrain and Kuwait, was highly differentiated from the second and third groups, comprising samples from Oman, Pakistan, the UAE, and Yemen; and South Africa and the Saudi Arabian Red Sea, respectively. Population divisions were supported by pairwise FST values and discriminant analysis of principal components (DAPC), but not by STRUCTURE. We suggest that the mostly low but significant pairwise FST values in our study are suggestive of fine population structure, which is possibly attributable to behavioral traits such as residency in C. sorrah and site fidelity and philopatry in C. limbatus. However, for all samples obtained from the northern parts of the Gulf (Bahrain and/or Kuwait) in both species, the higher but significant pairwise FST values could possibly be a result of founder effects during the Tethys Sea closure. Based on DAPC and FST results, we suggest each population to be treated as independent management unit, as conservation concerns emerge.
... The elasmobranch fishes (sharks, rays, guitarfish) form a large component of the local fisheries around the Arabian Peninsula (Henderson et al., 2007;Moore, 2012a;Jabado et al., 2014), with the flesh being sold fresh or dried in local markets, and the fins exported to the Far East (Henderson, Al-Oufi & McIlwain, 2008). Unfortunately, most of these fisheries are essentially unregulated, and data pertaining to the species composition of catches are limited. ...
Article
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An 829-bp fragment of the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 (NADH2) gene was used to assess the taxonomic statusof 1487 elasmobranch specimens, representing 52 putative species. Strong evidence was found for the existence of an undescribed Echinorhinus species and for cryptic speciation within Rhynchobatus djiddensis. The results also provide strong molecular support for the existence of two previously reported, but undescribed, guitarfish species.Potential, but less conclusive, cryptic lineage diversification was also noted in Carcharhinus leucas, Loxodon macrorhinus, Iago omanensis and Gymnura poecilura. A complex situation was found in the genus Himantura, with potentially three distinct lineages evident, one of which is probably an undescribed species, in the H. gerrardi complex. One dasyatid specimen could not be identified, but appears to be closely related to Dasyatis ushiei, while Himantura leoparda and Carcharhinus longimanus are reported from Oman for the first time. The results of the present study also reinforce previously reported geographical divisions within certain putative species, which has important implications for fishery management and conservation.
... Moreover, this unique phenomenon of sharks near warm water effluents appears to be increasingly prevalent, especially during the past decade -a surprising fact considering the collapse of many shark populations worldwide, particularly in the Mediterranean (Cavanagh & Gibson 2007). Our findings also contrast those of a study using a similar questionnaire methodology in the Mediterranean which indicated declining shark populations since the middle of the previous century based on the perceptions of fishermen (Maynou et al. 2011), and also a study which used fishermen questionnaires in the Persian Gulf and showed a decline in shark catches, abundances and body sizes over the last 2 decades (Jabado et al. 2015). ...
Article
Sharks in the Mediterranean Sea are at extremely high risk, and their populations are rapidly declining. In the Eastern Mediterranean along the Israeli coastline, anecdotal observations have suggested that sharks aggregate at warm water outflows from coastal power plants. Using interviews, we examined fishermen's perceptions in order to (1) verify the presence of shark aggregations at power plant outflows; (2) examine whether there are differences in sighting frequencies among seasons; and (3) examine whether there is a trend of increased sightings of sharks during the past 2 decades (1993-2013) compared to the previous 20 yr period (1973-1993). A total of 128 fishermen were interviewed at 4 power plants and 4 nearby marinas along the shore: Hadera, Tel Aviv, Ashdod and Ashkelon. Results indicate that (1) sharks are observed much more frequently near power plants where there is a continuous warm water outflow (all except Tel Aviv); (2) shark sightings at the outflows peak during the cold season and are negatively correlated with water temperatures; and (3) there has been a general increase in shark sightings between 1993 and 2013 compared to the previous 2 decades. Shark aggregations occur at power plant outflows most likely due to elevated water temperatures. Further research is needed to understand the process underlying the recent increase in shark abundance at power plants, and its ecological implications on these endangered species and the structure of local communities.
... The idiosyncrasies of tropical shark assemblages do not lend themselves to traditional fisheries assessment and monitoring approaches (Harry et al., 2011), requiring the development of novel methods to use the information available. In particularly data-limited situations, this has included interview-based approaches (Jabado et al., 2014) and ERA (Stobutzki et al., 2002). Where basic life history information is available, a multitude of demographic and per-recruit methods have been developed and applied to sharks (Cortes, 2002;Gallucci et al., 2006;Blaber et al., 2009;Forrest and Walters, 2009;Brooks et al., 2010). ...
Article
The status of five species of commercially exploited sharks within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP) and south-east Queensland was assessed using a data-limited approach. Annual harvest rate, U, estimated empirically from tagging between 2011 and 2013, was compared with an analytically-derived proxy for optimal equilibrium harvest rate, UMSYLim. Median estimates of U for three principal retained species, Australian blacktip shark, Carcharhinus tilstoni, spot-tail shark, Carcharhinus sorrah, and spinner shark, Carcharhinus brevipinna, were 0.10, 0.06 and 0.07 year−1, respectively. Median U for two retained, non-target species, pigeye shark, Carcharhinus amboinensis and Australian sharpnose shark, Rhizoprionodon taylori, were 0.27 and 0.01 year−1, respectively. For all species except the Australian blacktip the median ratio of U/UMSYLim was <1. The high vulnerability of this species to fishing combined with life history characteristics meant UMSYLim was low (0.04–0.07 year−1) and that U/UMSYLim was likely to be >1. Harvest of the Australian blacktip shark above UMSY could place this species at a greater risk of localised depletion in parts of the GBRMP. Results of the study indicated that much higher catches, and presumably higher U, during the early 2000s were likely unsustainable. The unexpectedly high level of U on the pigeye shark indicated that output-based management controls may not have been effective in reducing harvest levels on all species, particularly those caught incidentally by other fishing sectors including the recreational sector.
... Also, it is essential to gather information from scientific sources to understand the impacts of fishing activities on local populations and to develop management and conservation strategies that benefit the entire community. These approaches can also offer opportunities to engage local communities in scientific studies and management activities through the developsment of relationships based on mutual trust that help to develop a sense of ownership and representation (Carruthers & Neis, 2011;Jabado, Al Ghais, Hamza, & Henderson, 2015;Leeney & Poncelet, 2015;Moore et al., 2010;Moreno-Báez et al., 2010). ...
Article
• Juvenile white sharks distribute in coastal nursery areas, which are essential for population growth. Bahía Sebastián Vizcaíno (BSV), Mexico, is a white shark nursery area in the north‐eastern Pacific. Despite existing regulations forbidding the capture of white sharks, incidental catches still occur in some areas. • Artisanal fisheries constitute one of the most important economic activities in BSV, yet no formal description of either these fisheries or the incidental catch of juvenile white sharks exists due to the poor data reporting system, thus preventing a clear understanding of the implications of these catches for the white shark population of the north‐eastern Pacific. • Artisanal fishing activities and their interactions with juvenile white sharks in BSV are described based on fishermen's knowledge. Artisanal fisheries in BSV are multi‐specific, targeting mostly bottom‐related species (e.g. white seabass and California halibut) that are also common prey for juvenile white sharks. These activities are the only source of income for the majority of fishermen in BSV and are conducted throughout the year, with gillnets being the main fishing gear. • White sharks are incidentally caught in bottom gillnets mainly during the summer, although another peak in incidental catch was recorded during winter, possibly related to the presence of juvenile white sharks from California, USA. The most common size of juvenile white sharks incidentally caught was <2 m in the nearshore areas close to the mouth of the Ojo de Liebre Lagoon; larger juveniles (~3 m) were caught in areas near Cedros, Natividad, and San Benito Islands. • The multi‐specific nature of BSV artisanal fisheries and their socio‐economic value, and the high post‐release survival of juvenile white sharks suggest that future regulatory actions should focus on the release of incidentally caught live juvenile white sharks and the involvement of the BSV fishing community to increase the effectiveness of management efforts.
... It is important to note that the most landed demersal species, Hamour, Shaari, and Farsh, are being over-exploited by an estimated five times the sustainable limit, while the pelagic kingfish are being over-exploited by up to three times its sustainable limit the report further indicates that in 2015, a more than 90 % decline in the adult (reproductive) stock size in Abu Dhabi Emirate had been estimated for the three key demersal indicator species. A study conducted by Jabado et al., (2015) on shark fishery in UAE suggests that sharks are likely to be overexploited and that management measures will need to take into account the precautionary principle. They noted that there is an urgent need to formulate long-term and effective conservation and management plans to prevent further declines in a number of species. ...
Article
In 2015, the UN member countries, on mutual understanding, identified 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to be achieved by 2030. According to several reports, some countries are reflecting good progress, but overall, no country is on track towards achieving all the UN SDGs. This paper aims to show the progress and commitment of the UAE towards UN SDGs. A qualitative research approach using a systematic literature review complying with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses and a semi-structured interview was adapted to achieve the aim of this research. The results reflect that the Emirates has achieved only one goal. Most of the remaining goals are not on track to be achieved by 2030. In fact, some of the goals related to energy and climate are becoming riskier. The country under its different initiatives aims to invest a total of US$163·35 billion in different projects that target to achieve 50% clean energy by 2050. It is, however, not clear from the government strategy how these targets will be achieved. Similarly, the government needs to ensure a close relationship between organisations so that the action of one unit does not derail the plans of other organisations.
... For instance, over the past several decades, almost one- quarter of all primary production has been appropriated for human consumption (Haberl et al. 2007), one-half of the planet's wildlands have been lost (Ellis et al. 2010), and wildlife populations worldwide have fallen by one- half ( Dirzo et al. 2014). However, these estimates are quite abstract for many people, and discussion on these topics often references personal -usually local-scale - anecdotes and examples of environmental change (Al-Abdulrazzak et al. 2012;Ziembicki et al. 2013;Jabado et al. 2015). Unfortunately, there are reasons to believe that such contextualizing can serve to understate the changes that have taken place. ...
Article
With ongoing environmental degradation at local, regional, and global scales, people's accepted thresholds for environmental conditions are continually being lowered. In the absence of past information or experience with historical conditions, members of each new generation accept the situation in which they were raised as being normal. This psychological and sociological phenomenon is termed shifting baseline syndrome (SBS), which is increasingly recognized as one of the fundamental obstacles to addressing a wide range of today's global environmental issues. Yet our understanding of this phenomenon remains incomplete. We provide an overview of the nature and extent of SBS and propose a conceptual framework for understanding its causes, consequences, and implications. We suggest that there are several self‐reinforcing feedback loops that allow the consequences of SBS to further accelerate SBS through progressive environmental degradation. Such negative implications highlight the urgent need to dedicate considerable effort to preventing and ultimately reversing SBS.
... The growing body of literature from the region suggests that chondrichthyans are declining in abundance, diversity, and sizes (e.g., Bonfil 2003;Henderson et al. 2004;Jabado et al. 2016;Moore et al. 2012;Spaet and Berumen 2015). In fact, signs of depletion were already evident over 17 years ago (Bonfil 2003;Jabado et al. 2015a). Reports stress that the high levels of intense and unregulated fishing activities throughout the region are the primary threats to chondrichthyans. ...
Chapter
A total of 138 chondrichthyan species—11% of the world’s known species—are currently known to occur in the waters surrounding the Arabian Peninsula, including 68 sharks from 22 families and 41 genera, 68 rays from 14 families and 33 genera, and two chimaeras from one family and one genus. Of these, 29 species are endemic to the region. The chondrichthyan species assemblage in the Arabian Sea and its adjacent waters do not reflect global shark and ray diversity, with some orders (e.g., Carcharhiniformes, Myliobatiformes, and Rhinopristiformes) very well represented, other taxa (e.g., families Squalidae and Rajidae) poorly represented, and Squatiniformes (angel sharks) entirely absent. Almost all chondrichthyan species found in these waters are heavily impacted by artisanal and industrial fisheries as well as coastal development. In fact, a recent regional IUCN Red List of Threatened Species assessment indicated that over half of them were threatened with extinction. These include species listed on the appendices of both the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna and the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals. The lack of overall fisheries management or enforcement of existing measures is a major issue and actions need to be immediately taken to ensure the long-term survival of most chondrichthyan species in the Arabian seas.
... The latter provided flexibility to explore subjects important to individual respondents on an informal level, helping to characterize the system qualitatively. Stakeholder-specific semi-structured questionnaires to evaluate: (1) fishing practices; (2) target and by-caught species and their value; (3) legal frameworks governing fishing activities and compliance to these; and (4) the attitude of fishers toward conservation measures were designed partially based on Jabado et al. (2015), ., and Haque, Cavanagh, and Seddon (2021); . In some instances, related questions were grouped together (e.g., questions regarding the value or species) to aid both the information gathering and analysis. ...
Article
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Increasing fishing pressure has negatively impacted elasmobranch populations globally. Despite high levels of historical and current fishing pressure, the Bay of Bengal region remains data‐poor. Focusing on Bangladesh, we conducted a socio‐ecological study to characterize elasmobranch fisheries and evaluate their impact on threatened species. The results demonstrate that several globally threatened elasmobranch species are frequently captured, and some of them have experienced substantial population declines (e.g., wedgefishes, sawfishes, large carcharhinid sharks) over the past decade. A decrease in elasmobranch diversity, abundance, and size of caught specimens was also reported, which was attributed to increased fishing intensity, destructive practices (e.g., bottom trawling), and an accessible elasmobranch market. While catch and trade of more than 90 elasmobranchs are regulated under Bangladesh's law, non‐compliance is widespread. Likely causes include a dearth of awareness, practical alternative livelihoods, and technical facilities, and the complex nature of the fisheries. Encouraging and facilitating the engagement of fishers in science (data collection), local governance (policy‐making), and field implementation (bycatch mitigation) is vital. These interventions must be rooted in sustainable approaches and co‐designed with fishers, with appropriate training available. Development of this work through enhanced engagement with fishers has the potential to transform the elasmobranch fishery situation in Bangladesh and could be used as a model for data‐poor regions.
... These species also share the characteristic that Appendix II listing is not as stringent as the domestic protection these species receive in many jurisdictions (i.e., landing and trade prohibition 4,5 ). Products of these species have generally not been detected in post-listing studies of major shark fin and meat markets, suggesting they are rare in trade [6][7][8][9][10] . (2016), and common thresher shark A. vulpinus (2016) were added to Appendix II. ...
Article
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The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is a multilateral environmental agreement to ensure that the international trade of threatened species is either prohibited (Appendix I listed species) or being conducted legally, sustainably, and transparently (Appendix II listed species). Twelve threatened shark species exploited for their fins, meat, and other products have been listed under CITES Appendix II. Sharks are often traded in high volumes, some of their products are visually indistinguishable, and most importing/exporting nations have limited capacity to detect illicit trade and enforce the regulations. High volume shipments often must be screened after only a short period of detainment (e.g., a maximum of 24 hours), which together with costs and capacity issues have limited the use of DNA approaches to identify illicit trade. Here, we present a reliable, field-based, fast (<4 hours), and cost effective ($0.94 USD per sample) multiplex real- time PCR protocol capable of detecting nine of the twelve sharks listed under CITES in a single reaction. This approach facilitates detection of illicit trade, with positive results providing probable cause to detain shipments for more robust forensic analysis. We also provide evidence of its application in real law enforcement scenarios in Hong Kong. Adoption of this approach can help parties meet their CITES requirements, avoiding potential international trade sanctions in the future.
... The elasmobranch fishes (sharks, rays, guitarfish) form a large component of the local fisheries around the Arabian Peninsula (Henderson et al., 2007;Moore, 2012a;Jabado et al., 2014), with the flesh being sold fresh or dried in local markets, and the fins exported to the Far East (Henderson, Al-Oufi & McIlwain, 2008). Unfortunately, most of these fisheries are essentially unregulated, and data pertaining to the species composition of catches are limited. ...
Article
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Sharks and rays are at risk of extinction globally. This reflects low resilience to increasing fishing pressure, exacerbated by habitat loss, climate change, increasing value in a trade and inadequate information leading to limited conservation actions. Artisanal fisheries in the Bay of Bengal of Bangladesh contribute to the high levels of global fishing pressure on elasmobranchs. However, it is one of the most data-poor regions of the world, and the diversity, occurrence and conservation needs of elasmobranchs in this region have not been adequately assessed. This study evaluated elasmobranch diversity, species composition, catch and trade within the artisanal fisheries to address this critical knowledge gap. Findings show that elasmobranch diversity in Bangladesh has previously been underestimated. In this study, over 160000 individual elasmobranchs were recorded through landing site monitoring, comprising 88 species (30 sharks and 58 rays) within 20 families and 35 genera. Of these, 54 are globally threatened according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, with ten species listed as Critically Endangered and 22 species listed as Endangered. Almost 98% juvenile catch (69–99% for different species) for large species sand a decline in numbers of large individuals were documented, indicating unsustainable fisheries. Several previously common species were rarely landed, indicating potential population declines. The catch pattern showed seasonality and, in some cases, gear specificity. Overall, Bangladesh was found to be a significant contributor to shark and ray catches and trade in the Bay of Bengal region. Effective monitoring was not observed at the landing sites or processing centres, despite 29 species of elasmobranchs being protected by law, many of which were frequently landed. On this basis, a series of recommendations were provided for improving the conservation status of the elasmobranchs in this region. These include the need for improved taxonomic research, enhanced monitoring of elasmobranch stocks, and the highest protection level for threatened taxa. Alongside political will, enhancing national capacity to manage and rebuild elasmobranch stocks, coordinated regional management measures are essential.
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Limited information is available on artisanal and subsistence shark fisheries across the Pacific. The aim of this study was to investigate Fiji's inshore fisheries which catch sharks. In January and February 2013, 253 semi-directive interviews were conducted in 117 villages and at local harbours on Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Taveuni, Ovalau and a number of islands of the Mamanuca and Yasawa archipelagos. Of the 253 interviewees, 81.4% reported to presently catch sharks, and 17.4% declared that they did not presently catch any sharks. Of the 206 fishers that reported to catch sharks, 18.4% targeted sharks and 81.6% caught sharks as bycatch. When targeted, primary use of sharks was for consumption or for sale. Sharks caught as bycatch were frequently released (69.6%), consumed (64.9%) or shared amongst the community (26.8%). Fishers' identification based on an identification poster and DNA barcoding revealed that at least 12 species of elasmobranchs, 11 shark and one ray species (Rhynchobatus australiae) were caught. This study, which is the first focused exploration of the shark catch in Fiji's inshore fisheries, suggests that the country's artisanal shark fisheries are small but have the potential to develop into larger and possibly more targeted fisheries.
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This report provides an overview of the con- servation status of chondrichthyans (sharks, rays, and chimaeras) in the Arabian Seas Region (ASR) and describes the results of a regional Red List workshop held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in February 2017. It identies those species that are threatened with extinction at the regional level, so that appropriate conservation action can be taken to improve their status. A regional overview of chondrichthyan fisheries, management and conservation is also presented. Although 184 species of sharks, rays, and chimaeras occur in the ASR, only the confirmed 153 species were considered in this project.The geographic scope encompasses the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Sea of Oman and the Gulf.This includes the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 20 countries bordering three Large Marine Ecosystems (i.e., the Arabian Sea, Red Sea, and Somali Current). This region comprises some of the largest and most important chondrichthyan fishing nations in the world, including India and Pakistan. All assessments followed the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria Version 3.1 and the Guidelines for Application of the IUCN Red List Criteria at Regional and National Levels Version 4.0. During the workshop, a network of leading international and regional experts on chondrichthyans and fisheries compiled data and knowledge to prepare 30 global (endemic species) and 123 regional species assessments. All assessments were agreed on by consensus at the workshop and any changes to statuses during the review process were agreed on through email correspondence with lead assessors and contributors prior to their submission to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and inclusion in this report.
Chapter
Reports of marine injuries have increased in recent years as water sports and recreation grow in popularity. Eels, wolf-herring, barracuda, triggerfish, and ribbonfish frequently cause trauma. Sharks play an important role in the animal–human attack game and can render land-based, bipedal primates easy prey. The term shark attack has been considered to be any forceful or injurious exchange between a human and any shark. This frightening incident has always been one of the more thoroughly examined issues of the challenge between human and shark. Because of their feeding mechanisms, including sharp teeth and powerful jaws, and because they can attain very large sizes, sharks are considered to be the top predators of the marine world. Regardless of its size, any shark having both opportunity and physical capacity for injuring humans can be considered dangerous. The incidence of shark attacks in the world could not be said to merit the degree of apprehension or antipathy often expressed towards sharks, but when a shark attack does occur, it is often with an impressive efficiency.
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The extinction risk of sharks, rays and chimaeras is higher than that for most other vertebrates due to low intrinsic population growth rates of many species and the fishing intensity they face. The Arabian Sea and adjacent waters border some of the most important chondrichthyan fishing and trading nations globally, yet there has been no previous attempt to assess the conservation status of species occurring here. Using IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Categories and Criteria and their guidelines for application at the regional level, we present the first assessment of extinction risk for 153 species of sharks, rays and chimaeras. Results indicate that this region, home to 15% of described chondrichthyans including 30 endemic species, has some of the most threatened chondrichthyan populations in the world. Seventy-eight species (50.9%) were assessed as threatened (Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable), and 27 species (17.6%) as Near Threatened. Twenty-nine species (19%) were Data Deficient with insufficient information to assess their status. Chondrichthyan populations have significantly declined due to largely uncontrolled and unregulated fisheries combined with habitat degradation. Further, there is limited political will and national and regional capacities to assess, manage, conserve or rebuild stocks. Outside the few deepsea locations that are lightly exploited, the prognosis for the recovery of most species is poor in the near-absence of management. Concerted national and regional management measures are urgently needed to ensure extinctions are avoided, the sustainability of more productive species is secured, and to avoid the continued thinning of the regional food security portfolio.
Article
Scientific knowledge is lacking on marine species of economic and conservation importance, hindering their sustainable management. Local Ecological Knowledge (LEK) has the potential to provide valuable insights on large (spatial and temporal) scales, by drawing on the collective experiences of those who work closely with the taxa of interest. This study explored the status of shark population over time in four countries across eastern and southern Arabia (i.e. Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Yemen). Results indicate strong declines, with highly experienced fishermen reporting greater perceived declines (80%) in the abundance of sharks (in general), with mean year of perceived decline starting in the late 1990s to early 2000s. For three specific taxa investigated, hammerhead sharks (e.g. Sphyrna mokarran) had the greatest mean perceived decline (80%), while even the group with the least decline (small carcharhinids) had mean perceived declines of 50%. Management measures are urgently required in the region to ensure sustainability of historic shark fisheries that provide food security and coastal livelihoods (e.g. Yemen and Oman), and to prevent regional extinctions (e.g. hammerhead sharks). Older and more experienced fishermen who are both; witness to the greatest declines and may have local standing and influence could be valuable resources in developing more community-based sustainable fisheries, especially given the apparent lack of success of formal management measures.
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Nearshore, shallow water habitats are believed to be highly important for various species of threatened sharks and rays (batoids) around the world. Yet, there is limited information on which batoid species use them. During eldwork on Siniya Island in the Emirate of Umm al-Qaiwain, United Arab Emirates (UAE), rays and guitar sh were observed on twelve occasions in shallow waters or found stranded along the shoreline. At least three species were identi ed from at least 20 individuals (adults and juveniles) consisting of the Arabian banded whipray, Maculabatis randalli, the Halavi guitar sh, Glaucostegus halavi, and cowtail rays, Pastinachus sp. Our observations highlight the importance of shallow water habitats for at least these batoids. Many coastal habitats in the UAE and broader region are currently threatened by development projects and other anthropogenic activities, highlighting the urgent need to better understand their role in maintaining shallow subtidal biodiversity.
Chapter
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The waters of the Gulf are characterized by extreme temperature (11.5–36°C) and salinity (37–50‰) ranges which are likely to at least periodically approach or exceed the tolerance limits of many reef fish species (Coles 1988; Coles and Tarr 1990). The narrow Strait of Hormuz constrains the influx of larvae from adjacent seas which also limits species diversity. Whilst the Gulf is a relatively young sea that originated about 16,000 BP, the sea surface did not reach its current level until around 6,000 BP during the Holocene (Sheppard et al. 1992). The present day fish fauna was thus established by the penetration of species from the Indian Ocean through the Gulf of Oman and Strait of Hormuz (Beech 2004). Its small size, limited habitat types and restricted depth also constrain faunal diversity, which is particularly apparent among the families of reef fishes (Randall 1995; Bishop 2003). Consequently, many major shallow water taxonomic groups that are prevalent at similar latitudes throughout the Indo-Pacific and adjacent waters are completely lacking in the area and there are few endemics, with only 16 species of fishes known to occur uniquely within the Gulf (Coles and Tarr 1990; Randall 1995; Carpenter et al. 1997).
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1. Fishing spans all oceans and the impact on ocean predators such as sharks and rays is largely unknown. A lack of data and complicated jurisdictional issues present particular challenges for assessing and conserving high seas biodiversity. It is clear, however, that pelagic sharks and rays of the open ocean are subject to high and often unrestricted levels of mortality from bycatch and targeted fisheries for their meat and valuable fins. 2. These species exhibit a wide range of life-history characteristics, but many have relatively low productivity and consequently relatively high intrinsic vulnerability to over-exploitation. The IUCN}World Conservation Union Red List criteria were used to assess the global status of 21 oceanic pelagic shark and ray species. 3. Three-quarters (16) of these species are classified as Threatened or Near Threatened. Eleven species are globally threatened with higher risk of extinction: the giant devilray is Endangered, ten sharks are Vulnerable and a further five species are Near Threatened. Threat status depends on the interaction between the demographic resilience of the species and intensity of fisheries exploitation. 4. Most threatened species, like the shortfin mako shark, have low population increase rates and suffer high fishing mortality throughout their range. Species with a lower risk of extinction have either fast, resilient life histories (e.g. pelagic stingray) or are species with slow, less resilient life histories but subject to fisheries management (e.g. salmon shark). 5. Recommendations, including implementing and enforcing finning bans and catch limits, are made to guide effective conservation and management of these sharks and rays.
Book
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This field guide covers the major resource groups likely to be encountered in the fisheries of Kuwait, Eastern Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. It includes marine plants, shrimps, lobsters, crabs, bivalves, gastropods, cephalopods, sharks, batoid fishes, bony fishes, sea snakes, sea turtles, sea birds, and marine mammals. In order to serve as a tool for ecological and biodiversity studies, all species know from the Gulf of certain groups are included. These include the sharks, batoid fishes, bony fishes, sea turtles, and marine mammals. Each resource group is introduced by a general section on technical terms and measurements pertinent to that group and an illustrated guide to higher taxonomic groups when relevant. Species are then treated in a subsequent guide that includes scientific nomenclature, common English and Arabic names where available, size information, information on habitat, biology, and fisheries, diagnostic features, and one or more illustrations, some of which are included in colour. The guide is fully indexed and a list of references is appended.
Article
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Recent case studies have highlighted high bycatch mortality of sea turtles and marine mammals in arti-sanal fisheries, but in most countries there are few data on artisanal fishing effort, catch, or bycatch. With artisanal fisheries comprising >95% of the world's fishermen, this knowledge gap presents a major chal-lenge to threatened species conservation and sustainable fisheries initiatives. We report on results from an intensive pilot study to evaluate whether interview surveys can be effective in assessing fishing effort and threatened species bycatch. Fisheries and bycatch data from interviews with >6100 fishermen in seven developing countries were collected in <1 year for approximately USD $47,000, indicating that this approach may rapidly yield coarse-level information over large areas at low cost. This effort provided the first fisheries characterizations for many areas and revealed the widespread nature of high bycatch in artisanal fisheries. Challenges to study design and implementation prevented quantitative estimation or spatial comparisons of bycatch during this pilot research phase, but results suggested that annual sea turtle bycatch may number at least in the low thousands of individuals per country. Annual odontoc-ete bycatch may number at least in the low hundreds per country. Sirenian bycatch occurred in all study areas but was frequent only in West Africa. We discuss lessons learned from this survey effort and pres-ent a revised protocol for future interview-based bycatch assessments.
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The impact of fishing on chondrichthyan stocks around the world is currently the focus of considerable international concern. Most chondrichthyan populations are of low productivity relative to teleost fishes, a consequence of their different life-history strategies. This is reflected in the poor record of sustainability of target shark fisheries. Most sharks and some batoids are predators at, or near, the top of marine food webs. The effects of fishing are examined at the single-species level and through trophic interactions. We summarize the status of chondrichthyan fisheries from around the world. Some 50% of the estimated global catch of chondrichthyans is taken as by-catch, does not appear in official fishery statistics, and is almost totally unmanaged. When taken as by-catch, they are often subjected to high fishing mortality directed at teleost target species. Consequently, some skates, sawfish, and deep-water dogfish have been virtually extirpated From large regions. Some chondrichthyans are more resilient to fishing and we examine predictions on the vulnerability of different species based on their life-history and population parameters. At the species level, fishing may alter size structure and population parameters in response to changes in species abundance. We review the evidence for such density-dependent change. Fishing can affect trophic interactions and we examine cases of apparent species replacement and shifts in community composition. Sharks and rays learn to associate trawlers with food and feeding on discards may increase their populations. Using ECOSIM, we make some predictions about the long-term response of ecosystems to fishing on sharks. Three different environments are analysed: a tropical shelf ecosystem in Venezuela, a Hawaiian coral reef ecosystem, and a North Pacific oceanic ecosystem. (C) 2000 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea.
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An investigation of fishermen's knowledge of fish occurrence patterns on various spatio-temporal scales has been realized in the Fatala Estuary (Guinea, West Africa), accompanied by a one-year survey with standardized gill-net sets. Seventy one fishermen distributed in four zones corresponding to gill-net sampling sites were questioned about seasonal variations of species' relative abundances. Longitudinal and seasonal patterns of fish relative abundances were described with correspondence analysis and ANOVA for both approaches. Comparison of results showed a good coherence between fishermen's answers and gill-net sampling results. Thus, it is proposed that investigation of fishermen's ecological knowledge should be used as a preliminary study to help defining fish sampling designs in tropical rivers and estuaries.
Technical Report
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Sharks and their relatives - the rays and chimaeras - are the diverse group of cartilaginous fishes (Class Chondrichthyes) that have evolved over 400 million years. ... ... ... This report serves as an introduction to the ecology, status and conservation of the sharks and their relatives for a general audience. It draws attention to their unique biology and makes the case for expanded political and financial investment in research, monitoring and precautionary management for all fisheries taking sharks, skates, rays and chimaeras as part of their catch. Shark fisheries cannot be managed sustainably, nor shark populations remain viable, in the absence of new conservation and management initiatives. http://www.iucnssg.org/uploads/5/4/1/2/54120303/camhi_et_al._1998.pdf
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The Arabian Gulf (also known as Persian Gulf and ROPME Sea) represents an extremely important economic, political and strategic aquatic resource. Although the Gulf region is known world wide for its oil-gas deposits and production, very little is known about its ecosystem health, food web dynamics, fisheries, biodiversity and sustainability. The present study reviews and highlights the major anthropogenic stressors which threaten the marine and coastal ecosystems of the Gulf. The Arabian Gulf environment lacks the holistic, ecosystem-based research and monitoring that have been conducted in other marine ecosystems. There is a need for multi-disciplinary, multi-trophic and multi-agency international investigations including the application of emerging technology. Such an integrated strategy is urgently needed to save the rapidly changing marine ecosystems from the impact of rapid and vigorous coastal development across the entire Gulf region. The necessity of developing and implementing ecosystem health agreements between the various riparian countries is emphasized for expeditious protection, conservation and management of this precious but threatened natural heritage.
Article
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Small-scale fisheries contribute to economies and food security of most of the world's rural-poor coastal communities but are poorly documented in national and regional catch statistics. As a result, management of marine commons is inherently biased towards short-term interests of industrial fleets, rather than the long-term maintenance of coastal ecosystem health. Artisanal fishers' knowledge can provide practical information for management, and when shared, can help build trust between fishers and managers. However, until recently, very few studies designed to support fisheries management have incorporated fishers' knowledge. This study was designed to characterize the geography of fishing in the Gulf of Honduras (COW, shared by Belize. Guatemala. and Honduras, from the perspective of artisanal fishers. Data were compiled from semi-formal interviews with key informants, community meetings, mapping exercises, workshops with fishers in the GOH during 1998-1999. and participant observations through July 2011. Data were used to document fishery landings, status and trends in marine resources, the spatial and the temporal dynamic geography of fishing, and fishers' suggestions for improved conservation and management. Many of these suggestions have been implemented in the GOH between 1999 and 2011. This study offers a practical methodology that can be used in other artisanal, data-sparse fishing areas to document the geography of fishing, increase the participation of fishers in management, and lead to better participatory, ecosystem-based management. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Article
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Eighty–three artisanal fishing sites were documented from seasonal surveys of the Gulf of California coast of Baja California Sur conducted during El Niño (1998) and La Niña (1999) conditions. The direct targeting of elasmobranchs was observed at approximately half (48.2%) of these sites. Sharks numerically dominated sampled landings (71.3%, n  =  693), and exceeded those of batoids during all seasons. Among the primary species in observed landings were the scalloped hammerhead, Sphyrna lewini (15.2%, n  = 148), Pacific angel shark, Squatina californica (11.6%, n  =  113), blue shark, Prionace glauca (11.4%, n  =  111), Pacific sharpnose shark, Rhizoprionodon longurio (11.3%, n  =  110), and pygmy devil ray, Mobula munkiana (8.6%, n  =  84).
Article
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We report on results of a trawl survey during 2003^2004 to assess the abundance of demersal ¢sh resources in the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea. Samples were taken at a total of 316 trawl stations selected following a strati¢ed random procedure. Catch rates (catch per unit area, CPUA) and total biomass were estimated. Total demersal ¢sh biomass was estimated to be approximately 73,000 tonnes in Persian Gulf waters and approximately 39,000 tonnes in the Oman Sea. The lowest CPUA was recorded in the west of the study area (stratum A, approximately 1700 kg/n.m. 2) and the highest in the east (stratum Q, 13943.4 kg/n.m. 2), although density of commercially important species was higher in the central area (stratum K). Catch rate and biomass varied signi¢cantly in relation to seabed depth. Commercially impor-tant demersal species made up around 60% of the estimated total biomass. The most abundant species groups were rays, cat¢sh, grunts, nemipterids and carangids. Several important species (e.g. silver pomfret, croakers and sharks) appear to have declined since the late 1970s while others, such as rays and cat¢sh, have increased.
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Female Rhizoprionodon acutus were found to mature between 62 and 74 cm total length (LT) whereas males matured between 63 and 71 cm LT. The LT at 50% maturity was 64·3 cm for females and 64·7 cm for males. Litter size varied from one to six embryos, and was positively correlated with maternal LT. Female embryos outnumbered males by a ratio of 2·3:1. The size at birth was c. 37 cm LT. Full-term embryos and post-partum females were observed during all seasons although their occurrence was highest in spring. Spermatozoa were rarely recorded in the oviducal gland, indicating that this species does not store sperm. It was not possible to generate maturity curves for Iago omanensis but it was evident that females matured by the time they reached 35 cm and males were mature by 31 cm LT. This species displayed a clearly defined reproductive cycle with parturition occurring primarily in spring, after a gestation period of c. 1 year. Maximal embryo size was 19 cm LT while maximal litter size was 24 embryos. The oviducal gland appeared to act as a seminal receptacle and it appeared that females may utilize these stores by not mating every year.
Article
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We describe five examples of how, by ignoring fishers’ ecological knowledge (FEK), marine researchers and resource managers may put fishery resources at risk, or unnecessarily compromise the welfare of resource users. Fishers can provide critical information on such things as interannual, seasonal, lunar, diel, tide-related and habitat-related differences in behaviour and abundance of target species, and on how these influence fishing strategies. Where long-term data sets are unavailable, older fishers are also often the only source of information on historical changes in local marine stocks and in marine environmental conditions. FEK can thus help improve management of target stocks and rebuild marine ecosystems. It can play important roles in the siting of marine protected areas and in environmental impact assessment. The fact that studying FEK does not meet criteria for acceptable research advanced by some marine biologists highlights the inadequacy of those criteria.
Article
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The need to accurately quantify fishing effort has increased in recent years as fisheries have expanded around the world and many fish stocks and non-target species are threatened with collapse. Quantification methods vary greatly among fisheries, and to date there has not been a comprehensive review of these methods. Here we review existing approaches to quantify fishing effort in small-scale, recreational, industrial, and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fisheries. We present the strengths and limitations of existing methods, identifying the most robust methods and the critical knowledge gaps that must be addressed to improve our ability to quantify and map fishing effort. Although identifying the ‘best’ method ultimately depends on the intended application of the data, in general, quantification methods that are based on information on gear use and spatial distribution offer the best approaches to representing fishing effort on a broad scale. Integrating fisher’s knowledge and involving fishers in data collection and management decisions may be the most effective way to improve data quality and accessibility.
Article
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In this paper we demonstrate that low level ‘artisanal’ fishing can dramatically affect populations of slow-growing, late-maturing animals and that even on remote oceanic islands, stocks have been depleted and ecosystems degraded for millennia. Industrialised fisheries have developed during different decades in different regions of the world, and this has almost always been followed by a period of massive stock decline. However, ecosystems were not pristine before the onset of industrial fishing and it is difficult to assess the ‘virgin’ state of a population given that it may have been subject to moderate or even high levels of fishing mortality for many centuries. A wide range of information is available to help define or deduce historic marine population status. These include ‘traditional’ written sources but also less conventional sources such as archaeological remains, genetic analyses or simple anecdotal evidence. Detailed information, collected specifically for the purpose of determining fish stock biomass tends to exist only for recent decades, and most fishery assessments around the world (and thus time-series of biomass estimates), are less than 30 years long. Here we advocate using a wider range of multidisciplinary data sources, although we also recognise that it can be difficult to separate natural variability associated with changing climatic conditions from human-induced changes through fishing. We consider whether or not recovery of degraded ecosystems is ever possible and discuss a series of one-way ratchet like processes that can make it extremely difficult to return to a former ecosystem state.
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This study reconstructs the likely historical changes of the data-limited Hong Kong's inshore fisheries and evaluates their probable effects on the marine ecosystem, based on multiple information sources. Local knowledge on changes in the fisheries and the marine ecosystem is collected from commercial fishers, recreational divers and fishery officials. We combine this knowledge with results from simulation modelling and information from published and unpublished literature and reports to generate hypotheses on the historical changes in the fisheries and ecosystem between 1950 and 2000. The analyses suggest that traditionally targeted fishes had already been over-exploited by the 1970s, following a rapid drop in catch per unit effort in the 1960s. This paralleled a dramatic expansion of fishing effort. Ecosystem structure shifted as the large predatory species became depleted and small fishes and benthic invertebrates gained dominance. High demand for small fishes as fish-feed for aquaculture farms, high market price of benthic invertebrates, and reduced operational costs of fishing by smaller boats evidently provided support and incentives for continued depletion. We develop fishery management policy options that aim to reverse the depletion trend. This approach of retrospective evaluation combines fragmented information from multiple sources to generate management policy options that should be useful to assess fishery status and history in a data-poor fishery. It can be used to obtain insight into a fishery from a region in which little formal scientific study has been conducted, although it is no substitute for rigorous analyses when sufficient data are available.
Article
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The Sultanate of Oman has a long established traditional shark fishery, which has experienced increased demand in recent years due to the shark fin trade. Despite the long history of the fishery in Oman and neighbouring countries, few studies have been undertaken to determine the biological characteristics of the fishery or its ability to withstand this increased exploitation. The present study was undertaken as a first step to remedying this situation. A total of 47 species was confirmed from Oman's coastal waters, of which 44 occurred in commercial landings. However, landings were dominated by eight species—Rhizoprionodon acutus, Iago omanensis, Carcharhinus sorrah, Loxodon macrorhinus, C. macloti, C. limbatus, Sphyrna lewini and C. falciformis. The species composition of landings varied along the coast and also with season. Brillouin Index values indicated that species diversity was greatest in the Muscat area, followed closely by Musandam. The Al-Wusta region displayed the lowest diversity. The occurrence of two uncommon shark species, Chaenogaleus macrostoma and Echinorhinus brucus, was of interest, as was the recording of a juvenile Carcharhinus galapagensis, extending its northern range in the Indian Ocean considerably.
Article
The main purposes are to collate information of the region, to review marine systems and processes in the intertidal and shallow sublittoral parts of the Arabian seas, and to highlight human utilisation and environmental consequences. The first section presents the geological, geographical, climatic and oceanographic background to the area. The second section examines what is known of the region's marine communities, interpreting the relationships between the marine systems and physical conditions for: reefs and coral communities; coral reef fish assemblages; other reef components and processes; seaweeds and seasonality; seagrasses and other dynamic substrates; intertidal areas - mangal associated ecosystems, marshes, sabkha and beaches; and the pelagic system. The next section synthesizes and concludes the biogeographical material and interprets the effects of natural stress on the biota. The final section describes and discusses the human use and management of the region, including fisheries. -after Authors
Article
The first evidence-based checklist of sharks of the Persian (Arabian) Gulf is presented based on appraisal of primary literature and new data, including identifications verified by COI barcoding. Evidence of the occurrence of 26 species in the Gulf is presented, and the possible presence of a further 17 species is discussed. Carcharhinidae is the most species-rich family (16 species) present. The first substantiated Gulf records of the spinner shark Carcharhinus brevipinna, blacktip reef shark C. melanopteruş and scalloped hammerhead Sphyrna lewini are provided, along with a new record of the rarely reported grey nurse shark Carcharias taurus. The diversity of the Gulf's shark fauna, and possible influences on it, are briefly discussed.
Article
Three well-documented accounts of whale sharks, Rhiniodon typus, in Kuwait's coastal waters represent the first report of this species in the area since 1968.
Article
In the past two decades, small, targeted artisanal shark fisheries have developed in the extreme north of Madagascar, largely in response to the shark fin trade. Few studies have been undertaken to assess the biological characteristics and impact of these fisheries. Here, we developed a profile of the fishery in the region of Antsiranana for the period 2001–2004. A total of 23 elasmobranch species were identified. Carcharhinidae accounted for 69% with Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos most commonly captured, followed by Carcharhinus sorrah, Loxodon macrorhinus and Triaenodon obesus. Sphyrnidae accounted for 24% of the catch, with Sphyrna lewini most commonly captured. The presence of gravid females in gillnet catches from shallow coastal waters, combined with the vulnerable conservation status of some of the primary catch species, as well as the heavy exploitation of shark resources, suggests that this level of fishing may be unsustainable. Urgent management intervention is required, but it must take into consideration the vulnerable social and economic status of the coastal communities in the area.