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This document entitled “Guidance on National Plan of Action for Sharks in India” is intended as a guidance to the NPOA-Sharks, and seeks to (1) present an overview of the current status of India’s shark fishery, (2) assess the current management measures and their effectiveness, (3) identify the knowledge gaps that need to be addressed in NPOA-Sharks and (4) suggest a theme-based action plan for NPOA-Sharks.
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Shoba Joe Kizhakudan, P.U. Zacharia, Sujitha Thomas,
E. Vivekanandan and Muktha Menon
Indian Council of Agricultural Research
Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute
Post Box No. 1603, Ernakulam North P.O., Kochi-682 018, Kerala, India
CMFRI Marine Fisheries Policy Series No. 2 ISSN No: 2394-8019
Guidance on
National Plan of Action for
SHARKS IN INDIA
Shoba Joe Kizhakudan, P.U. Zacharia, Sujitha Thomas
E. Vivekanandan and Muktha Menon
Indian Council of Agricultural Research
Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute
Guidance on
National Plan of Action for
SHARKS IN INDIA
CMFRI Marine Fisheries Policy Series No. 2 ISSN No: 2394-8019
Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute
Post Box No. 1603, Ernakulam North P.O.,Kochi-682 018.
Phone: +91 484 2394357, 2394867 Fax: +91 484 2394909
E-mail : contact@cmfri.org.in www.cmfri.org.in
Guidance on National Plan of Action for SHARKS IN INDIA
Shoba Joe Kizhakudan, P.U. Zacharia, Sujitha Thomas,
E. Vivekanandan and Muktha Menon
Indian Council of Agricultural Research
Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute
Post Box No. 1603, Ernakulam North P.O., Kochi-682 018, Kerala, India
CMFRI Marine Fisheries Policy Series No. 2 ISSN No: 2394-8019
Guidance on
National Plan of Action for
SHARKS IN INDIA
Guidance on National Plan of Action for Sharks in India
CMFRI Marine Fisheries Policy Series No. 2
June 2015.
Published by
Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan
Director, CMFRI
Authors
Shoba Joe Kizhakudan
P.U. Zacharia
Sujitha Thomas
E. Vivekanandan
Muktha Menon
Design
Graficreations, Kochi
Printed at
St Francis Press, Ernakulam
Production & Co-ordination
Library and Documentation Centre
Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute
Post Box No. 1603, Ernakulam North P.O.,Kochi-682 018.
Phone: +91 484 2394357, 2394867 Fax: +91 484 2394909
E-mail : contact@cmfri.org.in
www.cmfri.org.in
ISSN: 2394-8019
© CMFRI 2015
All rights reserved. Material contained in this publication may not be reproduced in any form without the
permission of the publisher
Citation: Kizhakudan S.J., Zacharia P.U., Thomas S., Vivekanandan E. and Muktha M. 2015.
Guidance on National Plan of Action for
Sharks in India.
CMFRI Marine Fisheries Policy Series No. 2, 104p.
5
I
ndia is one of the major shark fishing nations of the world, contributing
to about 9% of the global catch of sharks during 2000-2009 with
an average annual production of 54,614 t. Sustainable shark fishing
was practised in India by artisanal fishermen before the introduction of
mechanised fishing, which led to sharks being landed as by-catch. Later,
in the 1990s, targeted shark fishing began when the demand for sharks
increased in international markets. Although there was increase in shark
catches initially there has been a consistent decline in the last one decade which has raised
serious concern on this resource.
In 2001, India joined other nations in conserving sharks by protecting ten species under
Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. India is also a signatory party to
the recent CITES Appendix II listing of 5 species of sharks (of which 4 species are commonly
found in Indian waters) and 2 species of manta rays, thereby initiating regulation of fin
and gill plate trade in these species. Shark finning and export/import of shark fins are also
prohibited in India. However, strategies to avoid protected or trade-regulated species from
capture in directed as well as multispecies fisheries do not exist.
The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute has served as a pioneering research institute
in India working on fishery dependent data analysis for resource assessment of sharks along
the Indian coast. Being a major shark fishing nation, it is important that India should evolve a
National Plan of Action for sharks (NPOA-Sharks) and participate actively in their conservation
and management. This book entitled “Guidance on National Plan of Action for Sharks
in India” is prepared in line with the International Plan of Action for conservation and
management of sharks (IPOA-Sharks) developed by FAO. It is intended as a guidance to the
NPOA-Sharks. Development and implementation of the NPOA-Sharks calls for integrated
research and discussion between R&D organisations, Government agencies, NGO’s and
stakeholders including fishermen, traders and exporters.
This document presents an overview of the shark fishery in India, current management
measures, knowledge gaps to be addressed and suggested action plan for shark fishery
management. In pursuit of ensuring sustainable fisheries of sharks, CMFRI will continue its
research focusing on the judicious exploitation of sharks from Indian waters. This document
assumes importance in the light of the attention shark resources are gaining worldwide and
the increasing awareness of the need to ensure their sustainable exploitation and conservation.
FOREWORD
Kochi, India
11 June 2015
A. GOPALAKRISHNAN
Director
6
Executive Summary ...................................................................................................................................................................7
Chapter 1: Status of shark fishery & trade in India
Background
.....................................................................................................................................................................................9
Fishery
.............................................................................................................................................................................................. 14
Fishing sectors
........................................................................................................................................................................... 23
Species diversity
....................................................................................................................................................................... 30
Trade
.................................................................................................................................................................................................. 37
Chapter 2 : Vulnerability, Conservation & Management
Why are sharks vulnerable?
........................................................................................................................................... 47
Current management measures in India
........................................................................................................... 53
Chapter 3: National Plan of Action - Sharks
Model for National Plan of Action - Sharks
.................................................................................................... 59
Suggested action plan
....................................................................................................................................................... 63
Implementation
....................................................................................................................................................................... 69
References
..................................................................................................................................................................................... 71
CMFRI’s publications on sharks
................................................................................................................................. 73
Appendix-1
.................................................................................................................................................................................. 86
Appendix-2
.................................................................................................................................................................................. 88
Acknowledgements
............................................................................................................................................................ 99
List of tables
............................................................................................................................................................................. 100
List of figures
........................................................................................................................................................................... 101
Acronyms
.................................................................................................................................................................................... 102
CONTENTS
7
I
ndia is one of the major shark fishing nations in the world and currently stands
at the second position, next only to Indonesia. According to FAO statistics, India’s
contribution to the global catch of sharks during 2006-2009 was 9%. Targeted shark*
fishing in India started when market demand for this commodity increased in recent
years. Today, an increase in the number and efficiency of fishing boats, directed fishing
and expansion of fishing areas, and multi-day, deep water shark fishing have become
a prevalent practice in Indian waters. An initial rise in shark catches along the coast,
followed by a subsequent consistent decline in catch and catch rate in the last one
decade has raised serious concern over the resource and the long-term viability of its
fishery.
Sharks are among the highly valued fishes that invite both domestic and international
demand. Utilisation of sharks in India is mostly in the form of shark meat, with a good
domestic market for fresh meat in the coastal states and in dried form in the southern
states. The gross value of sharks landed in the Indian maritime states in 2010 stood at
` 278 crores. Shark fins are one of the commodities in great demand in international
markets. The shark fins find their way to East Asia to meet the demands of an expanding
international shark fin market. Hong Kong, China and Singapore are the major demand
centres for shark fins. India’s export of shark fins in 2011 was about 195 t, valued at
US $ 14.99 million.
India’s first move towards shark conservation was in 2001 when 10 species of
elasmobranchs were included under Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act,
1972. This was the result of rampant whale shark hunting along the north-west coast
of India, particularly in Gujarat during the latter half of the 1990 s. In 2013, India went
on to promote the “fin-on” policy, i.e. landing of the entire shark. Subsequently India
supported the trade regulations on species listed under CITES Appendix II in 2014. In
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
8
February 2015, the Department of Commerce of the Ministry of Commerce, Government
of India issued an order prohibiting the export and import of shark fins in India.
Sharks are characterised by slow growth, large size and longevity, slow turnover of
generations, late maturation and production of few (but well-developed) off-springs.
Low biological productivity makes them vulnerable to fishing, with limited chance for
recovery. Given the wide-ranging distribution of sharks, including in the high seas, and
long-distance migration of many species, it is increasingly important to have international
cooperation for shark management plans. Food and Agriculture Organization with
appropriate international expert consultation developed an International Plan of Action
for the Conservation and Management of Sharks (IPOA-Sharks), which was adopted
in 1999. The guidelines for the IPOA-Sharks state that nations contributing to fishing
mortality of shark stocks should participate in their conservation and management,
that shark resources be used in a sustainable way, and that wastes and discards be
minimised. Developing NPOA-Sharks following FAO guidelines on IPOA-sharks with
action plans that can be reviewed and revised at periodic intervals, can be a powerful
tool for sustainably managing shark populations. Implementing national action plans
that adhere to international guidelines and also build on experiences drawn from
other fisheries can help save endangered shark species from extinction. Being a major
shark fishing nation (India is presently the second largest shark producing nation in
the world, although sharks form a mere 1.2% of India’s marine fish production), it
is important that India should evolve a National Plan of Action for sharks (NPOA-
Sharks) and participate actively in their conservation and management. Development
and implementation of the NPOA-Sharks calls for integrated research and discussion
between R&D organisations, Government agencies, NGO’s and stakeholders including
fishermen, traders and exporters.
This document entitled “Guidance on National Plan of Action for Sharks in India” is
intended as a guidance to the NPOA-Sharks, and seeks to (1) present an overview of
the current status of India’s shark fishery, (2) assess the current management measures
and their effectiveness, (3) identify the knowledge gaps that need to be addressed in
NPOA-Sharks and (4) suggest a theme-based action plan for NPOA-Sharks.
*The term “sharks” used in this document includes sharks, rays and skates. Wherever necessary, the three have been delineated.
9
STATUS OF
SHARK FISHERY & TRADE
IN INDIA
Chapter-1
BACKGROUND
I
ndia is one of the major shark fishing nations in the world and currently stands at the
second position, next only to Indonesia. Shark landings include catches of true sharks,
rays and guitarfishes. According to FAO statistics, India’s contribution to the annual
average global catch of sharks during 2000-2009 was 9%.
Artisanal fishermen in India have been conducting shark fishing in a sustainable way, in
the form of a sustenance fishery. Shark landings by the mechanised sector were mainly
in the form of by-catch from inshore fisheries. Targeted shark fishing started when
market demand for this commodity set in. In recent years however, increase in demand
for sharks in international markets, especially for the fins, has increased the number
and efficiency of fishing boats, directed fishing and expansion of fishing areas, and
multi-day, deep water shark fishing became a prevalent practice in Indian waters. This
led to increase in fishing effort and, thereby, yield of shark catches initially. However,
consistent decline in catch and catch rate in the last one decade has raised serious
concern over the resource and the long-term viability of its fishery.
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
10
In the year 2001, India joined other nations in conserving sharks by including ten species
in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. India is also a signatory
party to the recent CITES Appendix II listing of 5 species of sharks (of which 4 species
are commonly found in Indian waters) and 2 species of manta rays, thereby initiating
regulation in fin and gill plate trade in these species. However, strategies to avoid
protected or trade-regulated species from capture in directed as well as multispecies
fishery do not exist. Other plans for multispecies management include seasonal and
spatial closure of mechanised fishing, declaration of Marine Protected Areas and
minimum cod-end mesh size of trawls. These measures can help reduce shark by-
catches, nevertheless there is no assessment on this.
Sharks are characterised by slow growth, large size and longevity, slow turnover of
generations, late maturation and production of few (but well-developed) offsprings.
Shark landings at Cochin fisheries harbour
Low biological productivity makes them vulnerable to fishing, with limited chance
for recovery. The current state of knowledge of sharks and the practices employed in
shark fisheries cause problems in the conservation and management of sharks due to
limited information on biological characteristics of many species and their identification
at species level. Time-series and spatial data on catch, effort, landings and trade are
available, but there is scope for improvement. The combined effect of these limited
information deludes reliable stock estimates. In order to improve knowledge on the
state of shark stocks and facilitate collection of necessary information, adequate funds
are required for research and management. It is necessary to manage directed shark
11
fishery, and certain multispecies fisheries in which sharks constitute a significant by-
catch, on a precautionary approach without waiting for flow of scientific data. In some
cases the need for management may be urgent.
Given the wide-ranging distribution of sharks, including in the high seas, and long
distance migration of many species, it is increasingly important to have international
cooperation on shark management plans. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) with
appropriate international expert consultation developed an International Plan of Action
for the Conservation and Management of Sharks (IPOA-Sharks), which was adopted
in 1999. The guidelines for the IPOA-Sharks state that nations contributing to fishing
mortality of shark stocks should participate in their conservation and management,
that shark resources be used in a sustainable way, and that wastes and discards be
minimised. Developing NPOA-Sharks which follows FAO guidelines on IPOA-sharks with
action plans that can be reviewed and revised at periodic intervals, can be a powerful
tool for sustainably managing shark populations. Implementing national action plans,
that adhere to international guidelines and also build on experiences drawn from other
fisheries, can help save endangered shark species from extinction. Being a major shark
Landing of carcharhinid sharks
Carcharhinus limbatus
and
C. brevipinna
at Thoothoor
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
12
fishing nation (India is presently the second largest shark producing nation in the world,
although sharks form a mere 1.2% of India’s marine fish production), it is important that
India should evolve a National Plan of Action for sharks (NPOA-Sharks) and participate
actively in their conservation and management.
A major limiting factor in the formulation and implementation of adequate management
measures to regulate or preserve shark fishing at sustainable levels in India is the lack of
coherent information spread over a sufficiently large time period that should form the
basis for proper status assessment of the stock. The NPOA-Sharks requires to be drawn
upon data which are essentially a combination of “fishery dependant” (based on the
actual commercial catch landed and information recorded in the logbooks of fishing
vessels) or “fishery independent” (based on experimental surveys and fishing operations)
data. Primary data should include data on catch, effort, geographic abundance, species
diversity and market value. Add-ons to this data are biological, environmental and
socio-economic data.
Trends in shark fisheries and assessment of species-specific stock parameters require
a good representation of data spread over a sufficiently long time period with well-
defined extreme limits of measures. Catch and effort data should be representative of a
continuous and sufficiently long duration, say a minimum of five years for single species
stock assessment using prediction models and twenty years or more for holistic models.
Similarly, biological data on a species must be representative of the entire length range
of both sexes of the species which contribute even minimally to the fishery, and should
be indicative of trends and changes that recur on a seasonal basis. Representative
samples for size composition of a species in the fishery must include a wide range of
sizes, from newborn young to adults close to the maximum reported lengths.
The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) and Fishery Survey of India (FSI)
should serve as the nodal agencies for assimilation of fishery dependant and fishery
independent data, the former through its extensive programme of fisheries resource
assessment directly from landing centres along the Indian coast and the latter through
its exploratory trawl surveys in the Indian EEZ. Development and implementation of the
NPOA-Sharks calls for integrated research and discussion between R&D organisations,
Government agencies, NGO’s and stakeholders including fishermen, traders and exporters.
The objectives of this document are:
Present an overview of the currents status of India’s shark fishery.
Assess the current management measures and their effectiveness for shark
conservation.
13
Identify the knowledge gaps that need to be addressed to evolve the NPOA-Sharks.
Suggest a theme-based action plan for the NPOA-Sharks.
Key issues which need to be addressed for managing shark fisheries:
1. Taxonomic issues need to be resolved before effective management can be achieved.
2. Available catch and effort data for sharks and shark-like fishes are inadequate in
most fisheries.
3. Biological parameters of growth and reproduction have been estimated for some species,
but other fundamental data such as fishing effort and species/sex/ length/age composition
of the catch required for stock assessment are not available for most species.
4. The conservation status of most species is not known, particularly on a regional
flatform. There is also a large gap in knowledge with respect to Biological Reference
Points (BRP) and limit points for exploitation of even species that are of common
occurance in the fishery.
5. Many species of sharks have low stock recruitment due to late sexual maturity and
low fecundity.
6. They exhibit complex spatial structures (size and sex related aggregation; and
seasonal breeding migrations).
7. Widespread multispecies fisheries take a variety of species, all with different potential
for sustainable use.
8. There is a general lack of knowledge about critical habitats for most of the species.
9. There is little coordination to collect information on trans-boundary species due to
lack of responsibility for these stocks, particularly in international waters.
Manta birostris
landed at Cochin
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
14
THE FISHERY
T
he annual landing of sharks in India during the period 1961-2013 fluctuated
between 29,000 t and 75,000 t (Fig. 1), with the annual average being 52,640 t.
Although the trend appears to be increasing, the landings during the 1960 s and early
1970 s were mostly by the artisanal sector. The effect of mechanised fishing operations
is noticed from the mid 1970 s, with the landings showing an initial increase.
The annual landing of sharks in India in 2013 was 46,471 t (CMFRI, 2014) constituting
5% of the demersal and 1.23% of the total marine fish production in the country. Of
the exploited shark resources, sharks constitute 44%, rays, 52% and skates, 4% . While
annual shark landings have hovered within the range of 50-70 thousand tonnes over
the last 29 years, the share of sharks in total fish landings has declined by more than
64% from 1985 to 2013. Peak landing was observed in the year 1998, when it almost
touched 75 thousand tonnes. Mohanraj
et al.
(2009) mention an increasing trend in
elasmobranch catches in India, from 27.4 thousand tonnes in 1961 to 49 thousand
15
tonnes in 2006. However, the trend from 1985 to 2013 has been fluctuating with
landings peaking to >70,000 tonnes in 1997, 1998 and 2000. The increase in shark
landings during 1997-2000 (Fig.1) is the result of intentional whale shark hunting, in
high intensity, along the north-west coast of India. However, the contribution of sharks to
the total marine fish production in the country had already slipped from 3.43% in 1985
to 2.81% in 1998 and stood lowest at 1.23% in 2013, indicating a disproportionate
growth between total marine fish landings and shark landings (Fig. 2). While sharks
formed only sustenance fisheries in some parts of the country or were taken as by-catch
in coastal fisheries during the 1980 s and early 1990 s, targeted fishing, particularly for
sharks was initiated from the late 1990 s with increase in demand for shark products in
international markets.
Among sharks, skates and rays, the contribution of sharks to the annual shark landings
in India has shown a decline from 64% in 1985 to 44% in 2013 (Fig. 3), while that of
rays has increased from 30 to 55%.
Sharks were the largest contributors to the landings during 1985-2011 forming >50%
of the landings (average 59.9%). During 2012 and 2013 however, their contribution
fell to under 50% (average 44.2%). Shark landings showed a fluctuating yet increasing
trend from 33,112 t in 1985 to 47,207 t in 1998 followed by a sharp decline to 21,138
t in 2013. Falling shark landings is a matter of concern since it would take a number of
years for depleted shark stocks to recover.
Fig.1. All-India landings of sharks (1961-2013).
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
16
Fig.2. Trend in contribution of sharks to India’s marine fish production.
Fig.3. Percentage contribution of sharks, skates and rays to India’s shark production.
Ray landings ranged from 15,569 t in 1985 to a maximum of 27,802 t in 2012. The
south-east zone contributed 65.5% of ray landings, followed by the north-west zone
17.8%. The major gear contributing to ray landings is the mechanised trawl nets
which landed 60% of rays. Skate landings ranged from 3473 t in 1985 to 2,263 t in
2012 with a peak of 3,749 t in 2009. The north-west zone contributed the highest to
skate landings (52.6%), followed by the south-east zone (29.05%). Mechanised trawls
17
contributed 71.98% of skate landings in the country.
The potential yield of sharks was estimated to be 65,000 metric tonnes within 50 m
depth zone and 1,03,000 metric tonnes beyond 50 m depth zone (Mathew
et al.
,
1996). Later, potential yield of true sharks in the continental shelf of the Indian EEZ
was estimated to be 45,064 t, and that of pelagic sharks beyond the continental shelf,
26,200 t (Anon, 2001). These estimates were further revised in 2011 as 85,882 t for
sharks and 48,721 t for true sharks in the Indian EEZ up to 100 m depth. Landing
data assimilated by the CMFRI indicate that the potential yield estimated for sharks
from beyond 50 m depth zone has not been reached. Instead, it appears that the 50
m zone has been fished heavily and with falling landings, there is a high probability of
depletion of coastal species of sharks from these areas. Surveys to mark the distribution
and abundance of sharks in the Indian EEZ have recorded high catch rates off Kutchh in
the north-west zone with a good mixture of true sharks and rays in the area (Mathew
et
al.
, 1996). The catch rate of rays during the survey near Veraval in the north-west zone
was to the tune of 100-150 kg/h. Hence historically the north-west zone is the richest
in terms of shark production. The south-west zone (Wadge Bank) also had very high
catch rates of rays at 625kg/h during earlier surveys. Ray fishing grounds off Cochin
in the south-west zone showed catch rates of 120-145 kg/h. In the south-east zone
Leopard whipray
Himantura undulata
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
18
Madras and Cuddalore had high density pockets with catch rates of 264kg/h and 130
kg/h. The north-east zone had much higher concentration of sharks in shallow waters.
Surveys recorded catch rates of 89-123 kg/h off Kakinada, Machlipatnam and Paradeep
in the north-east zone. The survey also indicated a ground rich in skate resources in the
north-east zone with catch rates of 50-110 kg/h. The survey indicated that west coast
resources are deeper whereas most of the east coast resources are shallower.
At present, Gujarat and Maharashtra on the west coast and Tamil Nadu, Puducherry
and Andhra Pradesh on the east coast contribute to the fishery. However, with the poor
production of skates and decline in shark catches, there is an urgent need to reassess
the potential for elasmobranch fishery in Indian waters.
The west coast of India has remained more productive than the east coast, contributing,
on an average, 68% of the annual landings of true sharks and 66% of the annual skate
landings in the country (Table 1). The east coast on the other hand has remained the
higher contributor of ray landings with annual average contribution of 72% (Table 1).
A five-yearly profile (Fig. 4) of coast-wise contribution to the landing of sharks indicates
an increase in the contribution of the west coast from 66.7% in 1985-’90 to 74.1% in
2010-’13. In the case of skates there has been a decline from 72.7% in 1985-’90 to
62% in 2010-’13. The contribution of the east coast to the landing of rays has shown
an increase from 66.1% in 1985-’89 to 79.7% in 2010-’13.
Table 1. Coast-wise landing of sharks, skates and rays in India during 1985-2013
Annual average landing (t) Sharks Skates Rays
India 33982 2633 20234
West coast 23264 1722 5498
% in all-India average 68 66 28
East coast 10718 912 14736
% in all-India average 32 34 72
The states of Gujarat and Maharashtra on the north-west coast have remained the
major players in this arena, followed by Kerala on the south-west coast. The north-west
coast (Gujarat, Daman & Diu and Maharashtra) contributes 57% of the shark landings,
while the south-east coast (Tamil Nadu& Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh) contributes
21%. The south-west (Goa, Karnataka and Kerala) and the north-east (Orissa and West
Bengal) contribute 12 and 10 % respectively. In an earlier study, Vivekanandan and
Sivaraj (2008) also reported that the north-west coast contributed 57% of the shark
landings in the country. The contribution from the south-east coast reported by them
was higher at 25 % when compared to the current average of 21%.
19
Fig. 4. Contribution (in %) of west (WC) and east (EC) coasts of India to shark landings in the
country: a 5-year periodic analysis for 1985-2013 A. Sharks B. Skates C. Rays
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
20
However, the nature of shark fishing and landings along the Indian coast is such that
sharks caught from one part of the coast are often landed elsewhere (confirmed
through discussions with active shark fishermen and traders). Hence a delineation of
landings as caught from west or east coasts may often be misleading. Viewed from this
aspect, it may be better concluded that the contribution from the two coasts has not
changed significantly over the years, in terms of catch. Changes in landing patterns may
be influenced by market demand, especially for export.
Guitarfishes
Glaucostegus variegatus
and
Rhinobatos punctifer
landed at Colachel
Stripenose guitarfish
Glaucostegus variegatus
landed at Thoothukudi
21
Rapid Stock Assessment of sharks based on data for the period 1985-
2013 and following the classification criteria suggested by Mohamed
et al
.
(2010) indicates the delicate status of sharks in Indian waters. Sharks were either “less
abundant” or “declining” along the Indian coast, except Tamil Nadu & Puducherry,
where, the 3-year average being only 7.6% of the historic maximum, they could be
classified as “depleted” (Table 2).
Table 2. Results of the Rapid Stock Assessment (RSA) of sharks, skates and rays along
the Indian coast.
Resource Coast HMC (t) 3YA (T) % of HMC Status
Gujarat 27985 11069 39.6 DC
Maharashtra 12929 4034 31.2 DC
Karnataka & Goa 2829 749 26.5 DC
SHARKS Kerala 5151 2328 45.2 DC
Tamil Nadu & Puducherry 10934 827 7.6 DP
Andhra Pradesh 6871 1572 22.9 DC
Orissa 3077 1128 36.6 DC
West Bengal 5482 3196 58.3 LA
Gujarat 1412 1132 80.2 A
Maharashtra 1927 131 6.8 DP
SKATES Karnataka & Goa 307 229 74.6 A
Kerala 875 257 29.4 DC
Tamil Nadu & Puducherry 1613 426 26.4 DC
Andhra Pradesh 685 119 17.4 DC
Orissa 351 6 1.6 C
West Bengal 601 57 9.4 DP
Gujarat 7012 2446 34.9 DC
Maharashtra 2660 498 18.7 DC
RAYS Karnataka & Goa 2398 345 14.4 DC
Kerala 4070 1082 26.6 DC
Tamil Nadu & Puducherry 16429 10487 63.8 LA
Andhra Pradesh 9971 6746 67.7 LA
Orissa 1971 906 45.9 DC
West Bengal 2059 831 40.4 DC
HMC - Historic Maximum Catch (1985-2013); 3YA - 3-year average (2011-13)
A-Abundant LA-Less abundant; DC-Declining; DP-Depleted; C-Collapsed
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
22
Table 3. Percentage contribution of different gears to annual shark landings in Indian
states (1985-2013).
State Trawl net Gill net Line gear Seines Bag nets Others
Gujarat& Daman-Diu 47.7 40.8 4.7 0.0 6.8 0.0
Maharashtra 41.8 48.9 0.0 3.1 6.2 0.0
Karnataka & Goa 56.2 39.7 0.0 4.1 0.0 0.0
Kerala 41.0 27.4 11.9 2.5 0.0 17.1*
Tamil Nadu &
Puducherry
60.4 36.6 1.1 0.0 0.0 1.9
Andhra Pradesh 52.8 32.4 14.6 0.0 0.0 0.2
Orissa 51.0 6.8 42.2 0.0 0.0 0.0
West Bengal 19.4 51.4 29.2 0.0 0.0 0.0
*combination of mechanised gill net and hook & line
Sharks kept for transportation
23
FISHING SECTORS
I
ndia’s marine fishery is typically multi-species, multi-gear and multi-ground.
Different gears are often operated from the same boat, alternately or
simultaneously, depending on the fishing season and resource availability. Fishing
boundaries between states are non-existent and catch from different grounds
are often landed together at a particular landing centre, making it difficult to
assess the actual area of catch. Enquiry based information is the only way. Log
book maintenance by small scale commercial fishers is not a mandatorily observed
practice, and access to logbooks, if maintained, is often difficult. There is no system
of log book recording in artisanal fisheries. Information on shark fishing grounds
is difficult to obtain and collate since directed fisheries on a relatively large scale is
mostly restricted to the shark fishing fleet of Thoothoor, which lands most of the
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
24
Map prepared using the geo-referenced data of fish landing centres collected along the Indian Coast for
the in-house project “GIS Based resource mapping of distribution and abundance of finfishes and shell fishes
off Indian coast” Courtesy : Dr. A.P. Dineshbabu, Principal Investigator and all Co-investigators of the project.
catch in Cochin Fisheries Harbour and some other ports, even if the fishing ground
is far away.
Historically, sharks have always figured significantly in India’s artisanal fishery. A lucrative
fishery for sharks existed along the north Malabar coast before mechanisation set in,
where sharks formed the mainstay of the marine landings. However, technological
advancements in fishing craft, gear and methods have improved the efficiency and
extent of shark fishing operations. At present, sharks are taken by a combination of
different types of crafts and gears. Based on this, the fishery can be classified into three
major sectors - mechanised (large boats with inboard engines), motorised (boats with
outboard motor) and non-motorised. Trawl fishing, offshore large gill net operations
25
and longlining are mechanised sector fishing. Most of the small scale coastal fishing
operations using gill nets are done by the motorised sector. Hook & line operations, cast
nets, small gill nets and traps are operated by the non-motorised sector in the inshore
waters.
During 1985-2013, the mechanised sector contributed major share (71%) to the sharks
landed, the motorised sector accounted for 22% and the non-motorised sector, 7%.
A five-yearly analysis (Fig. 5) of the sector-wise contribution to shark landings (four
years in the last period) indicates a nominal increase from 70% in 1985-89 to 80% in
2010-13 in the mechanised sector landings. The contribution from the motorised sector
however, increased from 6% in 1985-89 to 31% in 2000-04 and decreased to 20% in
2010-13. The non-mechanised sector (artisanal fishery) which contributed about 24%
of the shark landings in 1985-89 has now been relegated to the background, with the
contribution being under 0.5%.
Pelagic longline fisheries are a significant source of catch for many species of sharks.
Pelagic longlines consist of a mainline that can stretch for tens of kilometres, suspended
Fig. 5. Five-yearly profile of contribution of fishing sectors to average annual shark landings in India (1985-
2013).
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
26
by floats with branch lines, which are vertical lines attached to the mainline by a clip or
swivel with a hook suspended below.
Drift gill net is a type of fishing gear designed to entangle or ensnare fish by keeping
Shark landing at Thoothoor
27
the net near or at the surface with floats and allowing it to freely drift with the currents.
Bottom or mid-water gill nets, which are weighted so that they fish at or near the
bottom and are generally anchored to prevent drifting, can also catch a variety of shark
species. Studies on gill nets report high mortality rates, especially among certain species
of the requiem and hammerhead sharks.
Gill nets and longlines cause species-specific mortality and are used selectively
depending on the availability of sharks in different seasons and areas. Generally long
soak times (the length of time a fish is kept on fishing gear before being brought up)
in bottom longline fisheries have also been linked to higher mortality rates among
some shark species.
Trawls are funnnel-shaped nets that also catch sharks as by-catch. These nets have two
wings of varying lengths that extend the net opening horizontally, and they can be
pulled along the bottom. The trawl-nets used in India are of high-opening type, capable
Eagle ray landed at Thoothukudi
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
28
of taking catches from any level in the mid-water, including the surface water.
Exclusive shark fishing as a practice exists only to a limited extent in India, and often
sharks are caught as by-catch from trawl, gill net, hook & line and longline operations.
Even in directed line fishing, the target species is changed between sharks and tunas by
using different types of hooks.
Directed and by-catch fisheries for sharks by different gear types require fundamentally
different management approaches depending on the respective management
objectives. Fishing gear and biological characteristics affect a species’ catchability.
Pelagic and semi-pelagic species that swim actively in the water column are more likely
to encounter a gill net or hooks and therefore have a higher catchability than demersal
species. Demersal species on the other hand are more vulnerable to demersal trawling.
Management approaches therefore, must be developed cautiously, taking into account
the type of fishery, the fishing sector and gear involved and the characteristics of the
species exploited.
Another important aspect that needs to be considered while evolving management
plans for a fishery is the socio-economic factor. Regulation of a fishery calls for an
assessment of the extent of loss suffered by the artisanal sector and possibilities for
alternate livelihood. Vivekanandan (2001) listed seven groups of fishers who exploit
sharks along the Indian coast -
i. Traditional catamaran fishers of Kanyakumari who conduct seasonal shark fishing
along the east coast
ii. Motorised canoe (nava) operating fishers of Kakinada who use bottom set gill nets
and hooks & lines
iii. Motorised wooden and FRP catamaran fishers of Andhra Pradesh who conduct
seasonal shark fishing between Visakhapatnam and Puri
iv. Traditional long-line fishers of north Kerala
v. Trawl operators who bring in sharks as by-catch
vi. Fishermen of Thoothoor in Tamil Nadu who operate a specialised shark fishing
mechanised fleet all along the Indian coast
vii. Fishermen of Gujarat who employ gill nets, hooks & lines and trawls for shark fishing.
29
Thoothoor is a small coastal village in Kanyakumari district in the state of
Tamil Nadu, located about 45 km west of Nagercoil and 40 km south-east of
Thiruvananthapuram. It is almost exclusively a fishing village with a total population
of about 6000. The fishermen of Thoothoor have been traditionally carrying out
shark fishing in the coastal waters and have over the years, evolved into a major shark
fishing fleet exploiting almost the entire length of the Indian coastline, moving up
to Porbander on the north-west coast and Paradeep on the north-east coast. Using
mechanised boats for long-line operations, they target sharks and tunas. They also
operate gill nets for other deep sea fishes. About 600 boats from this village are
known to be engaged in shark fishing. An association called the Association of
Deep-Sea Going Artisanal Fishermen (ADSGAF), established in 1992, functions from
this village for the welfare of the deep sea fishermen of Thoothoor. Unlike most
commercial fishing operators, the fishermen of Thoothoor show serious concern
for conservation of the resource. They have been actively involved in promoting the
movement for shark fishery management in India towards sustainable fishing and
conservation of sharks. National Mission on Conservation of Sharks-India (NMCSI)
is a voluntary mission initiated by the ADSGAF for the protection and conservation
of sharks in India. The mission meetings seek to integrate consultative thinking
between fishermen, traders, researchers, NGO’s and policy makers.
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
30
SPECIES DIVERSITY
T
he diversity of sharks in Indian waters has been a subject of vast study. Day (1889)
reported 69 species of chondrichthyans, while Misra (1952) reported 52 and Talwar
and Kacker (1984) reported 76, including 41 species of sharks. Compagno (1984)
reaffirmed the existence of 41 shark species. Later, Raje
et al.
(2002) reported 114
species of elasmobranchs while Venkataraman
et al.
(2003) included 72 species in a
field identification handbook on sharks. Froese and Pauly (2015) lists 119 species in
Indian waters.
Vivekanandan and Sivaraj (2008) reported changing species composition in the
fishery and indicated richness of deep water species. Akhilesh
et al.
(2013) reported
the existence of at least 157 valid species of sharks in Indian waters. From published
information and available data collected by CMFRI, a consolidated list of 160 species of
31
sharks known to occur in India’s commercial fishing zone has been listed in Appendix
2. Of this, 88 species are sharks belonging to 44 genera from 21 families, 53 species are
rays belonging to 19 genera from 10 families and 19 species are skates belonging to 10
genera from 4 families (Table 4). Of these, 18 species are predominant in the fishery and
27 are of common occurrence in the landings along the coast (Fig. 6).
Fig. 6. Dispersion of shark species (in numbers) in Indian waters based on occurrence status in India’s
commercial fishery.
Scalloped hammerhead shark
Sphyrna lewini
Sharks of the family Carcharhinidae (requiem sharks), Sphyrnidae (hammer-head sharks),
Alopiidae (thresher sharks), Lamnidae (mackerel sharks), Hemiscyllidae (bamboo sharks)
and Triakidae (hound sharks) are the major contributors to the commercial fishery.
Landings of rays are dominated by species of the families Dasyatidae, Mobulidae,
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
32
Myliobatidae, Gymnuridae and Rhinopteridae with Dasyatidae constituting about 75.8%
of the rays landed during 2007-2013. The guitarfish fishery in India is dominated by
members of the family Rhinobatidae.
Carcharhinidae formed 84.6% of the true sharks landed during 2007-2013 in the
country. Out of about 31 species of requiem sharks occurring in Indian waters, at
least 21 species are regularly fished. Shark landings along the north-west coast
of the country are dominated by the milk sharks
Rhizoprionodon oligolinx
and
R. acutus
and the spade-nose shark
Scoliodon laticaudus
. Landings along the south-
west and south-east coast however, are dominated by requiem sharks of the genus
Carcharhinus
. Landing of thresher and mackerel sharks and the oceanic white tip shark
Bowmouth guitarfish
Rhina ancylostoma
Milk shark
Rhizoprionodon acutus
33
Fig. 7. IUCN category-wise abundance of sharks in Indian waters.
Carcharhinus
longimanus
has been found to be increasing in recent years, with increased
operations in oceanic waters.
Vivekanandan and Sivaraj (2008) noted a shift in the shark fishery from an artisanal
coastal fishery towards an oceanic fishery employing drift gillnets and hooks &
lines operated from mechanised craft. Maximum exploitation of large sized sharks
beyond near shore coastal fishing zones is done mostly by the shark fishing fleet
of Thoothoor. However, the falling trend in both, contribution of sharks to the
total marine fish landings and the share of true sharks in the total shark landings
indicate that despite extension of fishing grounds, exploitation of oceanic waters
and increase in the species diversity in shark landings, the quantum of catch
appears to be stagnating. Landings of several high-value carcharhinid sharks have
also notably dwindled at some of the major fish landing centres like Chennai in
the recent years. On the other hand, there is a spurt in shark landings and diversity
at Cochin, primarily because it has become one of the major landing sites for
sharks caught from different zones along the Indian coast. In 2013, true sharks
constituted almost 50% of the total shark landings at Cochin while at Chennai
they formed only 5.9%.
Although reports indicate an increase in number of shark species in Indian waters, new
additions to the list are mostly deepwater forms, very few of which are commercially
exploited. Members of the family Carcharhinidae and Sphyrnidae remain major
contributors to India’s commercial shark fishery, with very little change in species
composition in the last two decades.
The distribution of Indian sharks classified under IUCN categories (Fig. 7) indicates that
24% of the species in Indian waters (listed in Appendix 2) are “Near Threatened” and
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
34
26% are “Vulnerable.” About 24% are listed as “Data Deficient”, 9% as ”Not Evaluated”,
3% as Critically Endangered”.
Among the hammerheads
Sphyrna lewini, Sphyrna mokarran
and
Sphyrna zygaena
, all
three of which have been included in the CITES Appendix II listing which came into effect in
September 2014,
S.lewini
and
S. mokarran
are classified as “Endangered” and
S. zygaena
is classfied as “Vulnerable”. The milk shark
Rhizoprionodon acutus
and the grey sharpnose
shark
Rhizoprionodon oligolinx
which contribute to the major share of commercial shark
landings in India, particularly from the north-west coast, are species of “Least Concern”.
However, IUCN classification is based on an assessment of the global stock status of each
species, and need not necessarily reflect the stock status in Indian waters.
Spine tail devilray
Mobula japanica
Spotted eagle ray
Aetobatus ocellatus
Juveniles of the tiger shark
Galeocerdo cuvier
35
Fig.8 Gear-wise exploitation status of shark species in Indian waters
The complex nature of India’s shark diversity and fishery makes management criteria
more difficult to derive. Evolving regional, gear-based packages for different groups of
species, based on their level of occurrence would probably prove better than a uniform
management plan for the country. The advantage of separate packages would be
that specific regional and sector-based issues can be addressed through collaboration
between the planning & implementing government agency, research organisations,
state fisheries departments, local fishing communities and other stakeholders and
NGO’s actively involved in the specific region.
Of the 160 species listed in Appendix 2, fishery information is available for 141 species.
Maximum exploitation is done by mechanised trawl net, gill net and line gear operations
(Fig. 8).
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
36
Table 4. Number of shark species occurring in India’s commercial fishing zone
Order Family Genus Species
SHARKS
Hexanchiformes Hexanchidae 2 2
Squaliformes Centrophoridae 2 6
Echinorhinidae 1 2
Etmopteridae 1 2
Somniosidae 2 2
Squalidae 1 2
Orectolobiformes Hemiscyllidae 1 5
Ginglymostomatidae 1 1
Rhincodontidae 1 1
Stegostomatidae 1 1
Lamniformes Alopiidae 1 3
Lamnidae 1 2
Odontaspididae 2 3
Pseudocarcharhiidae 1 1
Carcharhiniformes Carcharhinidae 10 31
Hemigaleidae 4 4
Proscyllidae 2 2
Scyliorhinidae 4 4
Sphyrnidae 2 5
Triakidae 2 5
Pristiformes Pristidae 2 4
TOTAL 44 88
RAYS
Torpedeniformes Narcinidae 2 4
Narkidae 1 1
Torpedinidae 1 4
Myliobatiformes Hexatrygonidae 1 1
Plesiobatidae 1 1
Dasyatidae 7 23
Gymnuridae 1 4
Myliobatidae 2 6
Mobulidae 2 7
Rhinopteridae 1 2
TOTAL 19 53
SKATES
Rajiformes Rajidae 6 7
Rhinidae 1 1
Rhinobatidae 2 8
Rhynchobatidae 1 3
TOTAL 10 19
TOTAL 73 160
37
TRADE
S
harks are among the highly valued fishes that invite both domestic and international
demand. Utilisation of sharks in India is mostly in the form of shark meat, with a
good domestic market for fresh meat in the coastal states and in dried form in the
southern coastal states. The gross value of sharks landed in the Indian maritime states
in 2010 stood at `278 crores (Table 5). Gujarat showed maximum earnings from trade
in fresh sharks while Tamil Nadu had maximum earnings from trade in rays. The landing
centre price was highest for sharks in Kerala and rays in Odisha in 2014 (Table 6).
Shark products and by-products that find their way into the export fray include dried
shark fins, fin rays, shark cartilage, shark liver oil and shark skin. Shark fins and rays are
used for shark fin soup, considered a delicacy in south-east Asian countries. Shark skin
is used for manufacturing leather products. Shark cartilage is marketed in capsule or
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
38
tablet form, and finds use in the pharmaceutical industry on account of several curative
properties attributed to it. “Chondroitin”, a constituent of shark cartilage is considered
particularly useful in the cure of arthritis. Shark liver oils also find a wide global market
and are used as components in medicines, cosmetics and lubricants. Shark teeth and
jaws are sold as artefacts. Fresh shark meat is priced at ` 160-230 per kg while dried
meat is sold at ` 400-500 per kg.The price of shark fins depends on the species and type
of fin, and can range between ` 4000 and 5000 per kg. Shark teeth can also be priced
up to ` 4000 per jaw set, depending on the species and quality of the teeth (Fig. 9).
The utilisation pattern in India has always been that of a complete one, with all sharks
caught being brought to shore and the entire shark being used, largely for local
consumption in fresh or dried form, and to an extent for by-products and artefacts.
On- board “shark finning”, is not practised in India. Shark poaching by foreign fleets
and shark finning was earlier reported in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, where no
local market for shark meat existed and where ships would not accept dried shark
meat for transport to the mainland (Vivekanandan, 2001; Srivastava, 2002). However,
following the ban on shark finning announced in August 2013, there have been no
reports of the practice in any part of the country.
39
Table 5. Estimate of gross value ( ` in lakhs) of sharks landed in Indian states (2000-2010).
State
Resource
Value (lakh rupees)
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Sharks 174.69 273 577.92 756.36 740 1450.46 122.92 1202.47 2274.38 2850.12 2968.16
West Bengal Rays 63.96 86.4 78.2 106.02 50.16 55.1 37.62 63.16 148.45 556.21 232.94
Skates 7.56 8.16 7.48 11.34 19.26 27.17 95.51 212.27 414.47 114.48 25.79
Sharks 308.61 632.2 264.24 349.2 393.31 428.64 282.9 393.7 678.05 736.95 755.51
Orissa Rays 175.67 256.88 142.2 82.16 67.45 103.55 0 22.42 0 267.5 244.56
Skates 2021 1.65 5.78 0.17 0 0 105.83 287.42 201 3.75 0
Sharks 1769.04 1205.09 693.59 864.45 1035 871.85 1824.6 2168.66 1337.48 1752.71 850.99
Andhra Pradesh Rays 377.41 480.6 396.36 1379.91 826.98 681.26 57.71 27.52 16.74 997.11 1448.69
Skates 95.54 17.29 11 35.42 37.26 13.8 1137.58 559.7 1044.71 20.41 33.06
Sharks 4069.01 3175.2 4055.72 2873.4 7857.6 1849.23 1916.78 1237.12 1040.09 2832.68 1330.63
Tamil Nadu Rays 1852.32 1625.83 2095.59 2757.26 2491.82 1717.68 134.15 142.33 178.03 3146.93 2920.1
Skates 36.2 35.2 172.27 100.19 199.5 299.78 2109.4 2212.12 2190.76 560.74 144.86
Sharks 173.24 60 22.96 48.72 66.3 21.5 14.91 29.53 57.5 65.74 16.17
Puducherry Rays 52.53 22.24 42.63 60.28 33.12 55.5 1.28 0 0 20.48 68.46
Skates 0 0 6.21 0 0 0.75 30.09 46.04 50.14 0 1.03
Sharks 1020.52 1268.19 1365.7 2387.73 1849.09 1084.5 1502.46 1282.03 1953.15 2731.37 2176.14
Kerala Rays 213.15 381.11 424.58 344.96 227.4 411.84 138.72 74.58 115.12 628.12 423.8
Skates 34.2 201.25 73.92 67.86 112.96 79.1 319.16 323.36 466.14 157.18 76.3
Sharks 365.85 650.08 971.7 427.68 509.2 622.88 332.23 309.87 495.75 1025.66 555.43
Karnataka Rays 42.5 38.88 30.43 25.33 18.8 21.63 16.28 28.18 31.65 52.46 86.9
Skates 0.76 17.48 12.6 5.72 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Sharks 13.2 187.62 261.36 319.44 296.81 569.16 502.17 198.8 21.65 42.7 17.43
Goa Rays 0.68 2.2 31.79 31.79 182 384.51 0 1.97 0.89 1.15 0
Skates 0.57 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Sharks 3858.53 4867.5 9231.31 5087.96 4456.08 4369.78 6404.73 6799.51 4968.96 4403.31 3978.2
Maharashtra Rays 210.38 269.6 196.68 231.22 305.76 230 339.9 350.4 366.28 228.64 209.41
Skates 69.08 57.04 141.93 155.6 208.72 179.4 181.83 271.44 258.18 55.28 63.39
Sharks 13908.66 6705 6944.62 5573 6348.51 5567.25 5426.66 4749.37 6271.36 7643.66 8525.39
Gujarat Rays 264.23 191.28 153.6 164 224.56 286.2 181.21 120.6 201.94 402.7 417.68
Skates 135.52 83.07 95.94 140.28 208.62 198.2 170.75 244.08 327.73 301.94 239.25
Source: Sathiadas et al,(2012)
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
40
Table 6. Average price of sharks ( ` /kg) landed along Indian states (2010-2014).
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
WestBengal
Sharks 120 90 180 160 180
Rays 70 50 120 130 135
Skates 85 70 NA 100 120
Odisha
Sharks 65 149.5 85 190 200
Rays 28 64 45 198 208
Skates NA NA 30 NA NA
Andhra Pradesh
Sharks 67 90 90 100 100
Rays 33 40 45 40 48
Skates 33 60 70 90 75
Tamil Nadu
Sharks 116 105 110 95 NA
Rays 34 58 50 80 NA
Skates 37 60 60 65 NA
Kerala
Sharks 107 153 175 245 220
Rays 46 50 59 85 90
Skates 50 70 95 120 170
Karnataka
Sharks 97 120 130 140 145
Rays 30 75 80 160 175
Skates 80 95 100 120 130
Goa
Sharks 97 120 150 140 125
Rays 30 85 80 160 80
Skates NA NA NA NA NA
Gujarat
Sharks 70 75 75 90 NA
Rays 60 60 60 75 NA
Skates 25 25 25 35 NA
Source: Shyam Salim, CMFRI, 2015- Personal communication. NA - Not Available
Today, while India ranks a global second in shark production, shark fin trade from the
country is not a matter of alarming priority. FAO statistics indicate that while India’s
shark production is about 9% of the global production, the country’s shark fin exports
form 6% of the global figures. India’s export and import statistics for the period 2006-
2011 (Source: FAO-Fishstat) indicates that shark products formed <0.1% of the total
marine fishery exports from the country. Imports were only in the form of shark fillet
which was about 0.3% of the total marine fishery imports into the country. Shark fins
are one of the commodities in great demand in international markets. The shark fins
find their way to East Asia to meet the demands of an expanding international shark
fin market. Hong Kong, China and Singapore are the major demand centres for shark
fins. As per MPEDA statistics, India exported 195 tonnes of shark fins worth US $ 14.99
41
million in 2011 against 960 tonnes worth $2.74 million in 1998. The quantum of shark
fins exported from India in 2013-14 stood at about 122 tonnes (Table 7). Mumbai and
Chennai have been the major centres for collection, processing and export of shark fins
and fin rays. The trend in recent years however, indicate an initial increase from 2008-09
to 2010-11, followed by a considerable decline in 2013-14 (Table 8). Quality and price
of the fins are decided based on the species from which the fins are sourced. FAO lists
at least 21 species of sharks favoured for shark fins (Table 9).
Table 7. Country-wise export details of shark fins from India.
Japan U S A China Southeast
Asia
Middle
East
Others Total
Quantity (t) 0 0 92 19 2 0 113
2009-10 Value (
`) 0 0 4334.42 911.63 294.11 0 5540.2
Value (US$) 0 0 9.17 1.94 0.6 0 11.71
Quantity (t) 11 0 101 22 61 0 195
2010-11 Value (
`) 62.87 0 4959.75 1059.57 669 0 6751.2
Value (US$) 0.14 0 11.03 2.34 1.49 0 14.99
Quantity (t) 0 2 82 33 31 0 147
2011-12 Value (
`) 0 2.27 3060.1 1341.64 582.06 0.08 4986.2
Value (US$) 0 0 6.55 2.85 1.25 0 10.66
Quantity (t) 0 0 76 14 0 2 91
2012-13 Value (
`) 0 3.87 2644.43 724.06 0 67.01 3439.4
Value (US$) 0 0.01 4.9 1.35 0 0.12 6.37
Quantity (t) 0 0 78 43 1 0 122
2013-14 Value (
`) 0 0 3371.58 477.22 8.39 0 3857.2
Value (US$) 0 0 5.75 0.81 0.01 0 6.57
*Quantity in tonnes, value in lakh rupees/million USD Source: MPEDA
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
42
Table 8. Export details of shark fins and shark fin rays from Chennai.
Year Shark fins Shark fin rays
Quantity (tonnes) Value (crore
`) Quantity (tonnes) Value (crore `)
2008-09 24.02 5.41 4.09 1.75
2009-10 34.74 15.14 13.72 4.51
2010-11 84.75 32.86 9.06 1.74
2011-12 70.32 28.07 3.29 1.69
2012-13 64.28 20.16 1.82 1.19
2013-14 44.6 15.29 1.44 1.11
Source: MPEDA
Of late, trade in devil and manta ray gill plates has seen an upward trend at Chennai.
The rays are auctioned at the rate of ` 30-40/kg. The flesh is salted, sun-dried and sold
in the dry fish market. The gill plates are removed carefully, cleaned in seawater and
dried at room temperature for about 4-5 days. Processed gill plates are sold at prices
ranging between ` 2,500 and 10,000/kg, depending on the size of the ray and the
43
species. The gill rakers of
Mobula tarapacana
, commonly called “white” is being sold by
traders from Kochi to buyers in Chennai, at high prices of ` 9,000/kg dry weight, and
the meat at ` 200/kg wet weight. The gill plates of
M. japanica
, locally called “black”
fetch only ` 4,000/kg dry weight. The gill plates are exported from Chennai to foreign
countries for soup and medicine preparation.
Market studies (Sathiadas
et al.
, 2012) indicated that processed shark teeth fetch a
price of ` 1400/kg in the export market and shark skin (for leather market) is sold @
` 320/kg. Shark liver oil is a thriving small scale industry in many states and is sold at
` 25/kg in the domestic market. Major limiting factors in trade control include lack of
control over ‘at-sea’ transfers and lack of identification procedures for shark species
from unprocessed or processed by-products. Visual identification of species from dried
fins and dried gill rakers have proved useful in regulating trade in restricted species in
many countries. Some of the available resources applied globally to this effect include -
1. “ishark Fin” software (FAO)
2. Field Identification Guide of the Prebranchial Appendages (Gill Plates) of Mobulid
Rays for Law Enforcement and Trade Monitoring Applications (Manta Ray Trust)
3. Field-based guide for visual identification of fins from the new CITES-listed sharks
(Pew Charitable Trust)
Dried gill plate of
Manta birostris
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
44
Molecular identification techniques play a vital role today in solving problems related to
species identification and this should be included as an inherent part of India’s NPOA-
Sharks as a means to regulate trade in protected species. Even after inclusion of the
whale shark
Rhincodon typus
under Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act,
1972, illegal fishing and trade continued for some time in India. To curb the illegal trade
and marketing of fishery products from whale shark and for strict law enforcement with
the help of accurate and reliable species identification methods using molecular tools,
the National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources (NBFGR) and CMFRI generated a species-
specific partial sequence data of the mitochondrial genome of properly identified
stranded whale shark samples, covering the 16S rRNA (546 bp), Cyt b (541bp), COI
(600bp) genes as the reference genetic profile helping in accurate identification of any
body parts of the species.
In the year 2008, flesh suspected as that of the whale shark was seized from fishermen
by the Forest Range Officer (Govt. of Kerala), Kannur, Kerala, India and was brought
before the Judicial First Class Magistrate, Thalassery, Kannur, Kerala, India. The detailed
sample analysis and confirmation of species was carried out at NBFGR Cochin Unit
(R.P.330/08, dt 29. 09. 2008). Based on DNA sequencing of 16S rRNA(525bp) and
Dried gill plate of
Mobula tarapacana
45
COI (600bp) Cyt b(541bp) genes and comparing with the sequences earlier generated
by NBFGR (FJ375724, FJ375725, FJ375726, FJ456921, FJ456922, and FJ456923), the
suspected sample was identified as that of endangered whale shark and the result was
communicated to the court. This was the first criminal case in India in which scientific
evidence was sought in forensic identification of the meat of an aquatic organism
enlisted in the Wildlife Protection Act of India and the DNA markers reiterated their
ability to reliably identify product/meat sample of a species, thus helping in curtailing
illegal trade of the endangered organism (Sajeela
et al.
, 2010) .
Fin
` 4000-5000/kg
Teeth
` 150-4000/set
Flesh fresh
` 160-230/kg
Skin - ` 200/kg
Dried flesh
` 400-500/kg
Cartilage
` 180-300/kg
Liver Oil
` 300-1000/l
Fig. 9. Price structure of shark by-products in India.
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
46
Table 9. Popular choice of shark species for shark fins.
First choice Second choice Third choice
Blue shark Blacktip reef shark Basking shark
Dusky shark Blacktip shark Piked dogfish
Hammerhead Great white shark Whale shark
Mako shark Lemon shark
Oceanic whitetip shark Requiem sharks
Sandbar shark Smalltooth sandtiger shark
Spadenose shark
Thresher shark
Tiger shark
Tope shark
Scalloped hammerhead
(Source: FAO)
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CMFRI Marine Fisheries Policy Series No. 2
Chapter-2
WHY ARE SHARKS VULNERABLE?
S
harks are predatory cartilaginous fishes that have evolved in marine ecosystems
450 million years ago; most modern sharks appeared around 100 million years
ago. They are long living apex predators with biological characteristics typified by slow
growth, delayed maturation, long reproductive cycle, low fecundity and long life span.
These biological characteristics make them vulnerable especially to overexploitation.
Over the years, sharks have evolved through several morphological and biological
modifications that have helped them to survive mass extinction events that wiped away
many other primitive forms of life. However, they have not been able to withstand the
effects of unplanned and indiscriminate fishing by man in recent years, leading to an
unprecedented fall in shark populations in global waters.
A proper understanding of shark biology and life history patterns is necessary
for evolving species-specific fishery management plans that can be successfully
implemented within spatio-temporal boundaries. The great diversity of taxa within
this group renders such studies a trifle difficult. A wide range of variation is exhibited
VULNERABILITY,
CONSERVATION
& MANAGEMENT
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
48
Juvenile silky sharks
between shark species and genera in most of the biological characteristics. The smallest
sharks known, the squalid and proscyllids, grow to a maximum length of about 20 cm
while the largest known shark, the whale shark
Rhincodon typus
, grows to a maximum
length of about 2000 cm (Hoenig and Gruber, 1990; Froese and Pauly, 2015). Most
of the commercially exploited sharks landed along the Indian coast grow to maximum
lengths of 75-300 cm. A general trend seen among sharks is that females are often
larger than the males. Slow growth rate is a characteristic feature of most sharks, and
growth continuously decreases with ageing. Large sizes and slow growth accord the
sharks with high longevity. In line with this, the reproductive processes in sharks are
also delayed, with most sharks attaining sexual maturity at sizes which are roughly 50%
or more of their maximum size. Sharks are iteroparous and produce well-developed
young which are better adapted to survive when compared to the early larvae of
teleost fishes. Reproductive patterns include oviparity (deposition of eggs, enclosed in
a capsule, outside the maternal body), viviparity (retention of internally fertilised ova
in the uterus until completion of embryonic development with umbilical connection),
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CMFRI Marine Fisheries Policy Series No. 2
ovoviviparity (retention and hatching of fertilised eggs inside the maternal body and
development of embryo without umbilical connection) and even oophagy (subsistence
of developing young on unfertilised eggs within the maternal body). Fetal development
is slow and female sharks usually produce limited number of offspring once a year,
with reproductive cycles extending to almost a year. However, large sharks can produce
higher number of offspring – blue shark
Prionace glauca
and tiger shark
Galeocerdo
cuvier
have been known to produce more than 80 young at one time (Bigelow and
Schroeder, 1948; Pratt, 1979). Even so, the fecundity of sharks is far less than the
fecundity of teleosts. The size of the young shark determines the size of the litter – an
adult female shark can either produce few numbers of large young sharks or more
number of small young ones. Survival of the young sharks is largely dependent on their
chances of avoiding predators since their own predatory behavior ensures that food is
seldom a limiting factor. Most newborn sharks are susceptible to predation from their
own kind and other large fishes (Branstetter, 1990). The stock-recruitment relationship
in sharks is direct – the number of recruits is dependent on the number of adults in
the stock, which in turn is influenced by the survival of the young recruits and their
development to sexually mature adults. Since sharks are biologically armed to withstand
natural selection and extinction events, fishery-related impacts play a great role at this
phase of a shark’s life history. Uncontrolled fishing of young sharks which have not yet
attained maturity is a major risk factor pushing shark populations towards decline.
Juvenile hammerhead sharks
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
50
Milkshark embryos
Most of the sharks landed along the Indian coast, particularly the commercially important
carcharhinid sharks, are in the length range below the size at maturity (Table 10). This
is a cause for concern since it implies that there will be a considerable reduction in the
number of sexually mature adults in a stock on an advancing time scale.
Table 10. Biological indices of some species of sharks of common occurrence in India’s
shark landings.
Species Length
range in
fishery(cm)
Mean
length in
fishery (cm)
Maximum
length
Lmax(cm)
Lm50
(cm)
Number
of young
ones
Gestation
period
(months)
Estimated
Longevity
(y)
Scoliodon laticaudus
21-52 27 100 35 1-14 4 6
Rhizoprionodon
acutu
s
49-93 79 120 69 2-8 9-12 8
R. oligolinx
34-93 66 120 54 3-5 9-12 8
Carcharhinus limbatus
90-210 150 275 165 1-10 12 12
C. longimanus
150-300 270 396 184 1-15 12 22
C. falciformis
109-175 140 350 228 2-16 12 25
C. sorrah
50-235 150 360 220 1-8 10 8
C. leucas
224-327 260 360 193 1-13 10-11 32
Sphyrna lewini
120-150 135 430 210 12-41 9-10 35
Iago omanensis
36-73 48 75 40.3 2-20 10-12 10
Mustelus mosis
28-85 54 115 39 6-25 10-12 25
Most sharks are predators with trophic level >4. Predators are much more vulnerable
to environmental changes. They are also vulnerable to decrease in relative abundance
of prey. Ontogenetic changes in diet have been reported in sharks; studies indicate that
juveniles have a restricted diet associated with a particular habitat such as a nursery
ground. Most sharks are opportunistic feeders while some like the sandbar shark are
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CMFRI Marine Fisheries Policy Series No. 2
selective feeders. Many sharks turn out to be opportunistically-selective feeders – when
food is abundant, they may select a specific item and when food is less plentiful, they
may feed on almost any prey which is available (Wetherbee
et al.
, 1990).
Understanding the migratory behavior of sharks is crucial in evolving fishery management
plans. Sharks, particularly large ones like the whale shark, are known to undertake
extensive migrations spanning one or more seas. Management of such stocks would
call for joint ventures between nations along the migratory route. Most sharks are also
known to undertake short-term coastal migration for breeding and nursery grounds.
Usually, the individuals caught by commercial coastal fisheries would be young sharks
Guitarfish embryos, with attached yolk, collected from the uterus of the mother
Deep sea shark with embryos
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
52
which have not yet returned to oceanic waters for the adult phase of their life. The
oceanic white tip shark,
Carcharhinus longimanus
, which is an offshore species, exhibits
this migratory pattern and the landings of this shark in India comprise young sharks
below the size of maturity (Table 5). This shark has a litter size of 12-16, with the size
at birth being as small as 65 cm, which is only about 16.3% of the maximum reported
length of this species. The small size places the young at the risk of predation, mostly
by other sharks. Thus this species becomes easily prone to population decline with the
added effects of natural predation and human interference through fishing.
Similarly, the giant manta rays are highly vulnerable to stock depletion through
indiscriminate fishing. Their reproductive traits are characterised by long gestation
period of more than 12 months and very low fecundity (one young per cycle). These
rays, in spite of their huge sizes, are not predators. They are filter feeders like the whale
shark. They are often fished at sizes below their size at maturity, leaving very little
chance for propagation.
In such cases, the role of Marine Protected Areas and closed fishing seasons based
on availability of young ones and breeding adults assume great importance in shark
resource management. Although shark fishery in India is a multispecies one and
sharks as a group are extremely susceptible to overfishing (Holden, 1977), a single
management plan for sharks as a group, though desirable, may not be successful,
owing to the variations in life history patterns exhibited by different species.
Egg sac of pelagic thresher shark
53
CMFRI Marine Fisheries Policy Series No. 2
CURRENT MANAGEMENT
MEASURES IN INDIA
W
ildlife Authority of India is the national body governing conservation of endangered
species in India through enforcement of the Indian Wild Life (Protection) Act,
1972. In 2001, four species of sharks, two species of rays, one species of guitar fish
and three species of sawfishes were declared protected under Schedule I of the WPA,
1972, by the Ministry of Environment and Forests vide Order No.1-2/2001 WL1 dated
28.05.2001 (Table 11). Exploitation and trade of these species have been banned and
declared as punishable offences.
In August 2013, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (Wildlife Division) approved
a policy advisory on shark finning (vide F. No4-36/2013WL, 21 August 2013),
prohibiting the removal of shark fins on board a vessel in the sea, and advocates
landing of the whole shark.
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
54
Table 11. Elasmobranchs protected under Schedule I of (Indian) Wildlife (Protection)
Act, 1972.
Scientific name Common name Family/Order
Sharks
Rhincodon typus
Whale shark Rhincodontidae/Orectolobiformes
Carcharhinus hemiodon
Pondicherry shark Carcharhinidae/Carcharhiniformes
Glyphis gangeticus
Ganges river shark Carcharhinidae/Carcharhiniformes
Glyphis glyphis
Speartooth shark Carcharhinidae/Carcharhiniformes
Rays
Himantura fluviatilis
Ganges sting ray Dasyatidae/Rajiformes
Urogymnus asperrimus
Porcupine ray Dasyatidae/Rajiformes
Guitarfishes
Rhynchobatus djiddensis
Giant guitarfish Rhinobatidae/Rajiformes
Sawfishes
Anoxypritis cuspidata
Pointed sawfish Pristidae/Pristiformes
Pristis microdon
Largetooth sawfish Pristidae/Pristiformes
Pristis zijsron
Longcomb sawfish Pristidae/Pristiformes
India is a signatory party to IOTC Resolution 13/06/2013 which states that Oceanic
whitetips are not to be retained and are to be released unharmed, to the extent
practicable, when caught in association to IOTC regulated fisheries. Following the
inclusion of five species of sharks and two species of manta rays in Appendix II of CITES
in September 2014, India, being a signatory party to the same, steps have been initiated
by the MoEF & CC to consider conservatory measures for fishing and trade of four of
the five shark species (oceanic white tip reef shark
Carcharhinus longimanus
and the
hammer-head sharks
Sphyrna lewini
,
S. mokarran
and
S. zygaena
) and both the manta
rays which are currently being commercially exploited from Indian waters. The measures
to be taken would be based on a “Non-detriment Finding document” (NDF) which will
be prepared by CMFRI. Until then, it was decided at the Regional Capacity-building
Workshop on CITES Appendix II listing of sharks and manta rays, held at Chennai in
August 2014, that trade regulations would be effected by introducing a “minimum fin
size” for legal export, subject to the “no finning” policy of the Government.
On February 6, 2015, the Department of Commerce of the Ministry of Commerce and
Industry, Govt of India, through Notification No.110/(RE-2013)/2009-2014 inserted a
new entry at Sl. No 31A in Chapter 3 of Schedule 2 of ITC (HS) (Classification of Export
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CMFRI Marine Fisheries Policy Series No. 2
& Import Items), prohibiting the export of shark fins of all species of sharks covered
under EXIM Code 0305 71 00, and through Notification No.111/(RE-2013)/2009-2014
amended the import policy conditions of Shark fins under ITC (HS) 0305 71 00 of Chapter
03 of ITC (HS), 2012 – Schedule – 1 (Import Policy), to the effect that import policy of
the item ‘Shark fins’ covered under EXIM Code 0305 71 00 is changed from ‘free’ to
‘prohibited’. Most of these management measures have been complied with (Table 12).
The successful forensic identification of whale shark meat consignment in 2008 using
genetic markers (Sajeela,
et al.
, 2010) has proved beyond doubt that such tools will go
a long way in regulating trade of protected and listed species. With such mechanisms of
easily identifying species from body parts, the current ban on trade in fins of all species
of sharks needs to be reconsidered. On-board shark finning is not practised in India
and complete utilisation of all parts of the landed shark must be encouraged. There
is no domestic market for shark fins in India. Regulation of shark fin therefore may be
restricted to protected and listed species.
In addition to these specific
measures, India has also
regulated fishing practices
through demarcation of
about 31 Marine Protected
Areas, fixing Minimum
Legal Size (MLS) for capture
of common species,
gear-specific mesh size
regulations, restrictions
on operation of certain
gears like ring seines, purse
seines and pair trawling,
introduction of by-catch
reduction devices and
seasonal ban on fishing
(particularly trawling)
activities from 15 June
to 31 July along the west
coast and 15 April to 31
May along the east coast.
In recent years, there has
also been an increase in
participatory management
Largetooth sawfish
Pristis
microdon
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
56
The history of shark fishery
management in India began with
the awareness creation that followed
a spate of whale shark hunting in
Indian waters, particularly along the
Gujarat coast during the 1990 s.
The combined effort of TRAFFIC and
WWF in India to stop the brutal killing
and trade of these “gentle giants of
the sea” (Hanfee, 1997, 2001) and
the landmark documentary “Shores
of Silence” (Mike Pandey, 2000)
succeeded in putting into motion a
mass public campaign against whale
shark exploitation. With the awareness
generated among fishermen, this
campaign gathered momentum and
resulted in the inclusion of the whale
shark in Schedule 1 of the Indian
WPA, 1972 in the year 2001. In the
subsequent year, the species was also
included in CITES Appendix I
measures practised by fishermen communities within their native zones of operation.
Recovery plans to revive sharks stocks which have been assessed as “Collapsed”,
“Depleted” or “Declining” (Chapter 1, Table 2) need to be drafted and implemented
at the earliest. Restrictions on fishing of juveniles and breeding sharks and release
of pregnant sharks, unharmed, may be effective to an extent in coastal fisheries.
Demarcation of breeding/pupping grounds and seasons can be done with proper
evaluation of spatio-temporal abundance of shark stocks at different stages of their
life history. Tagging studies can be initiated, particularly for large sharks, to trace their
migratory route and pattern. CMFRI is in the process of deriving the MLS for different
species of sharks commercially exploited in India. The MLS recommended for capture
of four species are – 53 cm TL for the grey sharpnose shark
Rhizoprionodon oligolinx
,
14 cm DW for the scaly whipray
Himantura imbricata
, 61 cm DW for the pointed nose
stingray and 29 cm DW for the long-tailed butterfly ray
Gymnura poecilura
(Mohamed
et al.,
2014).
Whale shark
Rhincodon typus
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CMFRI Marine Fisheries Policy Series No. 2
Table 12. Compliance status in India for implemented shark management measures.
Management Measure Compliance Status Remarks
Protection of 10 species under
Schedule 1 of the Indian WPA,
1972 since 2001
Complied No intentional fishery; however, incidental
catches may occur.
IOTC resolution (2013) promoting
release of oceanic whitetip caught
in IOTC regulated fisheries
Compliance status
not known
Fishery status in Indian waters is being studied
Prohibition of on-board finning
of sharks vide MoEF (Wildlife
Division) policy (2013)
Complied Finning of sharks on board is not practised by
Indian fishermen and sharks caught are landed
whole.
Regulation of trade of fins and gill
plates of sharks and manta rays
listed under CITES Appendix II
(2014)
Complied Shark fin trade in India is being regulated. The
available molecular tools to identify shark species
from processed fins will be of use in regulating
shark fin trade of CITES listed species till such
time NDF studies are completed.
Prohibition of shark fin export
and import by the Department of
Commerce, Ministry of Commerce
(2015)
Complied but needs
re-consideration
Shark fin trade in India is being regulated.
Since Indian fishermen do not practise onboard
shark finning, complete prohibition of trade in
shark fins may be re-evaluated and restricted
to prohibition of trade in protected and listed
species.
CMFRI scientists interact with ADSGAF representatives
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
58
Shark fishery management demands species-specific and gear-specific approaches.
While formulating management or regulatory options, the spatio-temporal
distribution of exploited shark populations need to be taken into consideration.
Targeted species or those that dominate in the commercial fishery will have to be
managed differently from stocks which are of moderate or rare occurrence and
are more prevalent in deeper or oceanic waters. From the frequency of occurrence
of sharks in different gears along the Indian coast, it is clear that pelagic longlines
and gill nets (drift and bottom set) require management strategies to restrict the
capture of undersized and threatened or vulnerable species. Trawl nets on the
other hand, which are currently exploiting smaller species of least concern like
Rhizoprionodon
spp. and the near threatened species
Scoliodon laticaudus
, will
require to be addressed based on fishing zone and cod-end mesh size.
Rays landed at Colachel
59
NATIONAL
PLAN OF ACTION -
SHARKS
Chapter-3
MODEL FOR NATIONAL PLAN OF
ACTION
Nature and Scope
1. The NPOA-Sharks must follow FAO’s technical guidelines for the conservation and
management of sharks (FAO, 2000), which identify four elements of the IPOA-
Sharks:
species conservation;
biodiversity maintenance;
habitat protection; and
management for sustainable use.
2. In the NPOA-Sharks, the term ‘shark’ must be taken to include sharks, skates and
rays.
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
60
3. The term ‘shark catch’ or ‘shark landings’ would refer to shark that is caught and landed,
either from directed or non-directed multispecies fisheries by commercial fishing fleet.
It would include byproduct (retained for sale) and by-catch (considered as low-value
by-catch or LVB, due to very small size or poor quality, but traded). In specific cases, the
term would also refer to shark that is caught by exploratory survey vessels.
Guiding principles
1. The Government of India and all maritime states have to participate in shark
management with support from research institutions, stakeholders and NGOs.
2. Management and conservation strategies should aim to keep fishing mortality for
each stock within sustainable levels by applying precautionary approach. Standing
stock biomass estimates and potential yield estimates have to be revalidated for
all shark species in Indian waters and limit points have to be set for sustainable
exploitation.
3. Management and conservation objectives and strategies should recognize that shark
catches are a traditional and important source of food, employment and income.
Such catches should be managed on a sustainable basis to provide a continued
source of food, employment and income to local communities. Where management
is directed towards ban on fishing of certain species, strategies should be evolved
to develop alternate source of livelihood for artisanal fishermen who are directly
impacted by a loss of income due to the ban.
Objectives & Aims
The objective of the NPOA-Sharks would be to ensure conservation and management
of sharks and their long-term sustainable use through active stakeholder support and
participation.
The aims of the NPOA-Sharks would be those identified in the IPOA-Sharks, the same being:
1. To ensure that shark catches from target and non-target fisheries are sustainable;
2. To assess threats to shark populations, determine and protect critical habitats
and implement harvesting strategies consistent with the principles of biological
sustainability and rational long-term economic use;
3. To identify and provide special attention, in particular, to vulnerable or threatened sharks;
61
4. To improve and develop frameworks for establishing and coordinating effective
consultation involving all stakeholders in research, management and educational
initiatives within and between maritime states;
5. To minimise incidental catches of sharks;
6. To contribute to the protection of biodiversity and ecosystem structure and
function with emphasis on identification and protection of critical habitats for shark
aggregation and breeding;
7. To minimise waste and discards from shark catches;
8. To encourage full use of dead sharks;
9. To facilitate improved species-specific catch and landings data and monitoring of
shark catches; and
10. To facilitate identification and reporting of species-specific biological and trade data.
Issues in the conservation and management of sharks
Assessment of the current status of fishery, trade and management of sharks in India
has identified the following conservation and management issues:
1. The need for coordination of shark research;
2. The need to improve identification of shark species by all stakeholders and fishery
managers;
3. The need for secure, accessible and validated data sets at species level that record all
catch and are consistent over space and time with inputs from research institutions,
fisheries departments and stakeholders;
4. The need for developing a species resource atlas on spatio-temporal distribution
and abundance;
5. The need to identify shark breeding areas/seasons to conserve breeding populations;
6. The need to ensure full utilisation of dead sharks and an improved understanding
of marketing channels and trade in shark products;
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
62
7. The need to reduce fishing mortality of shark species;
8. The need for continued effort to maintain and improve the methods of stock
assessment for target shark species in directed shark fisheries;
9. The need for reliable assessment of shark by-catch and byproducts from shark
species in multispecies fisheries;
10. The need to reduce or, where necessary, eliminate shark by-catch;
11. The need for periodic Shark Assessement Reports which will help in evolving
effective shark management options;
12. The need for continuous monitoring and evaluation of the adequacy of management
strategies for all shark species;
13. The need for an assessment of shark handling practices for conservation and
management;
14. The need for a better understanding and, where necessary, recognition in
management arrangements, of shark fishing by fishermen and other stakeholders;
15. The need for risk assessments for all shark species from impacts such as natural and
anthropogenic effects (fishing, pollution and climate change);
16. The need to develop strategies for the recovery of shark species and populations; and
17. The need to evolve, where necessary, alternate means of livelihood for shark fishing
communities and other stakeholders relying to a great measure, on shark fisheries
for their sustenance.
Themes
The issues mentioned above can be classified into five broad themes to evolve the
NPOA-Sharks:
1. Strengthen database on fishery, abundance and biology of sharks, utilisation,
marketchannels and trade and socio-economics of stakeholder groups;
2. Undertake coordinated, need-specific research and development;
63
3. Initiate focused education/awareness programs towards capacity building for
efficientparticipatory management;
4. Improve coordination and consultation between management, research and
stakeholder groups;
5. Review and improve existing conservation and management measures.
Suggested Action Plan
1. Strengthening of database - data sets have to be created and updated
regularly. The sets of data thus collected should be well-managed in databases for
easy retrieval and analysis, and be subjected to frequent internal verification and
validation checks.
A. Data on fishery, abundance and biology of sharks
I. Identify gaps in existing monitoring and data collection programs for
commercial fisheries and exploratory surveys - CMFRI conducts strategic research
programmes to continuously monitor shark fishery along the Indian coast and
assimilate shark landing data. The Association of Deep Sea Going Artisanal
Fishermen (ADSGAF) has agreed to supplement CMFRI’s species-wise catch data
with details on fishing areas. Data on shark abundance and catch rates from
exploratory surveys of the FSI needs to be added to the exhaustive landing
data being collected by CMFRI in order to obtain a holistic picture of resource
abundance and distribution. CMFRI is also initiating a questionnaire-based
survey to collate information on shark landings in directed and non-directed
fisheries across major and minor landing centres along the coast. Validation of
shark catch data will also be done by employing observers on board commercial
fishing vessels operating from major centres at periodic intervals, with the
help of State Fisheries departments and by cross verification with information
collated by NGOs active in the respective areas.
Strengthen database on fishery, abundance and biology of
sharks, utilisation, market channels and trade and socio-
economics of stakeholder groups.
THEME
1
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
64
II. Ensure collection of data necessary for risk assessment of shark species such as
availability, catchability, productivity and distribution - CMFRI already has a well-
streamlined methodology for data assimilation and analysis for stock assessment.
Data requirements pertaining to all necessary input parameter for the same will be
met in the data collection programs. Such data will include information on area-
wise, gear-wise, species-wise catch & effort, size composition, sex composition,
reproductive indices and diet composition.
III. Ensure that, where a species is taken in two or more fisheries within a
jurisdiction or in two or more jurisdictions: (a) processes are in place to collect/
report data from all fisheries and jurisdictions involved in the management of
that species uniformly, and, (b) where transboundary stocks are involved, when
data became available, from stock assessments or risk assessments conducted
for that species, the countries involved should work towards evolving and
implementing complementary management advisories for that species -
interaction between the BOBP member countries will play a major role in co-
management of shark species within the Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem
(BOBLME) region. Similarly transboundary issues within the Arabian Sea will
have to be addressed.
B. Data on utilisation, marketing channels and trade of sharks and shark
products
I. Collection of information on postharvest processing, including facilities at landing
centres, existing channels for at-sea and onshore disposal of catch, market chains
(domestic and export), trade in shark products - CMFRI is well equipped to collect
enquiry-based data on post-harvest utilisation, market channels and trade, and
has well defined research programmes to collate information on price structure
and utilisation pattern of sharks in all the Indian maritime states. Data will be
validated through cross-verification with information from MPEDA. Export data
(form, quantity and earnings) is already being tabulated by MPEDA.
II. Collection of information on import of sharks/shark products - MPEDA maintains
records of all imports pertaining to sharks/shark products and this data will be
utilised for evolving and implementing the NPOA.
C. Data on socio-economics of stakeholder groups
I. Collection of socio-economic information on fishing communities involved in
directed & non-directed shark fishing and local marketing and extent of their interest
65
and dependence on the same.
II. Collection of socio-economic information on stakeholders in shark processing &
trade.
CMFRI can collect detailed socio-economic information on fishing communities and
other stakeholders directly or indirectly associated with shark fishing, processing and
trade. Data collection will be done through questionnaire-based survey at identified
landing and trade centres in the country. Validation of data will be done through
interaction with State Fisheries departments and NGOs.
2. Sharing of data - Protocols for easy but secure sharing of data between relevant
agencies have to be developed.
Undertake coordinated, need-specific research and development
THEME
2
1. Resolve issues related to taxonomic ambiguities, develop DNA sequences of all
species and establish DNA referral library;
2. Develop a comprehensive shark atlas and user-friendly field identification guides;
3. Develop a national shark museum where all shark species, shark products and shark
fishing methods and conservation strategies are exhibited;
4. Evaluate methodologies for risk assessment and adopt a single national risk assessment
framework, consistent across species and fisheries; however implementation of
compact measures must be envisaged through a regional approach suitable for
India’s complex fishery. This can be done in alliance with TRAFFIC’s
M-risk
; a novel
method to quantify the risk posed by over-exploitation of shark stocks to identify
the species/stocks of sharks of potential concern and their relative level of concern,
thus allowing prioritisation of those species/stocks where management measures
are critical and also identifying those stocks where improvement to management
measures are needed;
5. Strengthen research on shark biology and develop appropriate methods for modeling
the population dynamics of sharks in the ecosystem and develop a basis for distinguishing
between natural variation and trends in the system so as to assist in understanding
population status, rates of recovery, population structure and distribution;
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
66
Initiate focused education/awareness programmes towards
capacity building for efficient participatory management.
THEME
3
6. Revalidate species listing under different vulnerability categories; and revise the
status, if necessary, to prepare a Regional Red List;
7. Recommend Minimum Legal Size for capture of major exploited species;
8. Develop molecular markers for all species to help regulation of trade in shark
products;
9. Increase opportunities for better utilisation and value addition of shark products
from currently harvested species and encourage commercial fisheries to use these
opportunities subject to the long-term ecologically sustainable harvest of shark species;
10. Develop harvesting strategies consistent with the principal of biological sustainability
and rational long-term economic use, based on derived Biological Reference Points
with methods or devices to effectively reduce the number of sharks in by-catch;
11. Develop a methodology to assess the impact of shark management and conservation
measures on ecosystem structure and function with periodical evaluation of the
efficiency of the methodology;
12. Formulate recovery plans to improve declining coastal shark stocks;
13. Develop a quantitative framework to assess the recovery of listed threatened species;
14. Quantify and delineate the impact of natural and anthropogenic impact (pollution
and climate change) on the stocks, their migration and after abundance;
15. Prepare a document on indigenous shark fishing highlighting the traditional, cultural
and spiritual significance of sharks to local people so as to accommodate these
issues in the development of management arrangements.
1. Introduce a community education strategy aimed at the general public, commercial,
and indigenous fishermen and raise national awareness of the vulnerability of sharks
and in particular their role in the marine ecosystem, current threats and status;
67
2. Educate resource users about the rationale for and use of recorded shark catch data;
3. Develop awareness amongst all resource users of the protected and threatened
species, provisions, reporting requirements and penalties;
4. Encourage use of techniques to improve shark species identification (for example,
use of photos, retention of rare species for confirmation of species identification), by
user groups; and
5. Encourage horizontal dissemination of awareness ideals through stakeholder
initiatives.
Improve coordination and consultation between management,
research and stakeholder groups.
THEME
4
1. Form a shark research consultative forum to facilitate coordination and collaboration
on shark research and develop a strategic plan that responds to the research needs
identified in the Shark-plan - the forum will consist of nominated representatives
from the MOE,F&CC, DAHD&F, CMFRI, FSI, MPEDA, State Fisheries Departments,
BOBP, ADSGAF and shark traders. The forum will be responsible for evolving
and reviewing shark management decision-making processes. The outcomes of
the forum discussions will be shared with other organisations involved in shark
conservations and fishing & trade regulation like CITES , IUCN, the Convention on
Migratory Species (CMS), TRAFFIC and the WWF.
2. Promote implementation of Shark Plan and improved regional management
of shark stocks, particularly shared stocks, and protection of threatened
species in relevant regional fisheries management organisations and under
other relevant international conventions, for example, CITES and the CMS.
3. Initiate discussions with countries in the region in relation to complementary
and collaborative management of straddling shark stocks. These discussions
should include identification and implementation of collaborative measures
to mutually enhance the capacity of these countries to collect, analyze
and share data on straddling shark stocks; and evolve a comprehensive
management plan.
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
68
Review existing conservation and management measures and
implement improved strategies
THEME
5
1. Develop strategies to ensure filtration of conservation and management initiatives
to all categories of managers and stakeholders;
2. Ensure that, where a species is taken in two or more fisheries within a jurisdiction or
in two or more jurisdictions, effective communication and consultation mechanisms
between all stakeholders are in place, and management measures are complementary;
3. Initiate action to identify habitat critical to the survival of shark species and where
identified as necessary take action to protect, and minimise threats, to these habitats;
4. Develop trade regulation guidelines based on a precautionary approach to avoid
non-judicious targeted shark fishing based on market demand;
5. Develop mechanism for certification of products to avoid illegal trade on protected
species as well as to facilitate genuine trade in domestic and export markets;
6. Implement conservation and management strategies;
7. Assess current management arrangements for sharks against the objectives of this
shark-plan and the issues that this shark-plan seeks to address; in particular, assess
whether these arrangements are consistent with ecological sustainability of sharks
and a precautionary approach, and are enforceable;
8. Assess current management arrangements for listed, protected and threatened
shark species against the requirements of recovery plans for those species;
9. Assess the effectiveness of current by-catch reduction measures in reducing shark
mortality; encourage the adoption of effective shark by-catch reduction measures ;
10. Assess the relevance of generic management measures for sustaining shark
resources from non-directed fisheries and
11. Investigate the potential for promoting shark tourisum in select locales along the
Indian coast, as an encouragement towards shark conservation and an alternate
sourse of livelihood for shark fishers.
69
IMPLEMENTATION
1. In India, maritime state governments are responsible for implementing coastal
fisheries management measures through state specific Marine Fishing Regulation
Act (MFRA). Suggested contents of the NPOA-Sharks may form the basis of a
management programme for sharks.
2. The offshore component of NPOA-Sharks would have to be addressed by Government
of India. As shark management deals with migratory stocks between one maritime
state to another, Government of India may have to coordinate implementation of
coastal shark management.
3. The Government of India will ensure international collaboration on data collection
and data sharing systems for stock assessments of transboundary, straddling, highly
migratory and high-seas shark stocks, in collaboration with inter-governmental
agencies like the BOBP and the IOTC.
4. Research institutions such as CMFRI and FSI have to extend their support by way
of consistent collection of data, including inter alia commercial and exploratory
survey data, improved species identification, and ultimately the establishment of
abundance indices. Data thus collected, should be made available to, and discussed
with the state governments and Government of India.
5. The MPEDA will play a major role in formulating and implementing guidelines for
regulation of trade in species identified as threatened or vulnerable.
6. Management measures developed will be a comprehensive package derived from
advisories developed by the identified research institutions, inputs from fishermen
and other stakeholders and status of trade in domestic and international markets.
Further, periodical evaluation of implemented measures and their efficacy in
conservation and regulation of shark fishing and trade will be done to allow suitable
moulding and recasting of the management plan as the situation demands.
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
70
SUGGESTED TIMELINE
WHAT? WHO? WHEN?
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Preparation of NPOA-Sharks
DAHD&F with inputs from CMFRI
and other research institutions
P P
Implementation of NPOA-Sharks
DAHD&F, State Fisheries
Departments, MoEF&CC
P P P P P P
Strengthen database on
fishery biology of sharks
CMFRI
P P P P P P
stock abundance CMFRI & FSI
P P P P P P
utilization MPEDA, CIFT, CMFRI
P P P P P P
market channels & trade MPEDA, MoEF&CC, CMFRI &
traders associations
P P P P
socio-economics of stakeholder groups ADSGAF, NGO’s & CMFRI
P P P P P P
Undertake coordinated, need-specific research
and development towards
shark fishery assessment & management
CMFRI
P P P
shark resource survey FSI
P P P P P
reduction of shark by-catch CIFT
P P P P
conservation status, shark taxonomy & biology for
validation of conservation status
CMFRI
P P P P P P
Initiate focused education/awareness
programs towards capacity building for
efficient participatory management
State Fisheries departments,
MoEF&CC
P P P P
BOBP-IGO, NGOs
P P P P
Improve coordination and consultation
between management, research and
stakeholder groups
State Fisheries departments
P P P P P P
CMFRI
P P P P P P
MPEDA
P P P
BOBP-IGO
P P P
ADSGAF, Other stakeholders &
NGOs
P P P P P
Review existing conservation and
management measures
DAHD&F, State Fisheries
departments, CMFRI
P P P P
Implement improved strategies
MPEDA, Stakeholders, NGOs
P P P P
Review impact of implementing NPOA-Sharks on
status of shark stocks and fishery in Indian waters,
particularly of protected /endangered species
CMFRI,
P P P P
FSI
P P P P
WWF
P P P P
trade in shark & shark by-products MPEDA, MoEF&CC, shark traders
associations TRAFFIC, HSI
P P P
implications on the stakeholders CMFRI, ADSGAF, NFWF, lCSF,
SIFFS, HSI
P P P P
status of transboundary stocks and regional assessment
of shark populations
DAHD&F
P P P
BOBP-IGO
P P P
CMFRI
P P P
71
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CMFRI
Pamphlets
85
CMFRI
POSTERS ON
SHARKS
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
86
Year Shark landing (t) Total marine
landing (t)
% of sharks in total
marine landing
1961 33527 682626 4.91
1962 40730 643913 6.33
1963 42983 654736 6.56
1964 34858 859353 4.06
1965 31973 832082 3.84
1966 37348 889321 4.20
1967 29384 862586 3.41
1968 31101 903674 3.44
1969 35287 912025 3.87
1970 43813 1083942 4.04
1971 41206 1159630 3.55
1972 46062 978189 4.71
1973 44713 1217533 3.67
1974 65774 1214645 5.42
1975 64857 1418658 4.57
1976 54179 1348949 4.02
1977 61830 1256035 4.92
1978 61334 1393750 4.40
1979 52391 1365973 3.84
1980 57522 1242881 4.63
1981 55763 1373295 4.06
1982 64038 1412664 4.53
1983 69217 1535987 4.51
1984 57015 1616104 3.53
1985 52154 1522517 3.43
1986 51897 1679373 3.09
1987 56584 1649165 3.43
1988 56846 1785549 3.18
APPENDIX -1
Annual shark landing in India (1961-2013) and their contribution (in %) to
the annual marine fish landing
87
1989 49979 2205598 2.27
1990 49820 2142713 2.33
1991 50478 2222111 2.27
1992 63131 2277008 2.77
1993 66420 2245124 2.96
1994 56938 2325146 2.45
1995 68198 2225028 3.07
1996 57558 2380847 2.42
1997 74226 2692426 2.76
1998 74943 2664549 2.81
1999 64826 2401706 2.70
2000 71374 2652928 2.69
2001 55941 2292703 2.44
2002 58972 2589645 2.28
2003 56843 2587095 2.20
2004 58583 2538105 2.31
2005 46328 2295490 2.02
2006 50678 2710988 1.87
2007 45994 2888461 1.59
2008 48600 3207205 1.52
2009 52827 3163314 1.67
2010 45569 3346658 1.36
2011 53470 3820207 1.40
2012 52602 3948938 1.33
2013 46471 3781868 1.23
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
88
APPENDIX -2
Abundance in fishery,, areas of occurrence and gears used for exploitation of 160 species of sharks
occurring in India’s commercial fishing zones
Family Genus+species Common name Abundance
in fishery
Areas of occurrence Gears used for
exploitation
IUCN
status
Alopiidae
Alopias pelagicus
pelagic thresher
shark
**** marine, pelagic-oceanic, EC
& WC
longlines and drift gill nets VU
Alopias superciliosus
big-eye thresher
shark
**** marine, pelagic-oceanic, EC
& WC
longlines and drift gill nets VU
Alopias vulpinus
thresher shark *** marine, pelagic-oceanic, EC
& WC
longlines and drift gill nets VU
Carcharhinidae
carcharhinus
albimarginatus
silvertip shark *** marine, benthopelagic, reef
associated, EC & WC
longlines and gill nets NT
Carcharhinus altimus
bignose shark * marine, demersal, reef
associated, EC & WC
bottom trawl, longlines
and gill nets
DD
Carcharhinus
amblyrhynchoides
graceful shark **** marine, coastal-pelagic, EC
& WC
gill nets and longlines NT
Carcharhinus
amblyrhynchos
blacktail reef shark *** marine, coastal-pelagic, reef
associated, EC & WC
longlines NT
Carcharhinus
amboinensis
pigeye shark * marine/brackish, reef
associated, demersal, EC
& WC
longlines DD
Carcharhinus
brachyurus
copper shark * marine, reef associated,
meso-pelagic, WC
bottom trawl and
longlines
NT
89
Carcharhinus
brevipinna
spinner shark **** marine, reef associated,
pelagic, EC & WC
longlines, bottomset gill
nets and hook & line
NT
Carcharhinus
dussumieri
whitecheek shark **** marine, reef associated,
mesopelagic, EC & WC
trawl and bottom set gill
nets
NT
Carcharhinus
falciformis
silky shark ***** marine, reef associated,
epipelagic, EC & WC
longlines and bottom set
gill nets
NT
Carcharhinus
galapagensis
galapagos shark * marine, reef associated,
pelagic, WC
longlines and bottom set
gill nets
NT
Carcharhinus
hemiodon
pondicherry shark ! marine/brackish, demersal,
EC & WC
hook & line, bottom set
gill nets and bottom trawl
CR
Carcharhinus leucas
bull shark **** marine/brackish/freshwater,
demersal, EC & WC
longlines and hook & line NT
Carcharhinus limbatus
blacktip shark ***** marine/brackish, reef
associated, pelagic, EC &
WC
longlines, hook & line,
bottom set gill nets and
bottom trawl
NT
Carcharhinus
longimanus
oceanic whitetip
shark
**** marine, pelagic-oceanic, EC
& WC
longlines VU
Carcharhinus macloti
hardnose shark **** marine, demersal, EC & WC gill nets and longlines NT
Carcharhinus
melanopterus
blacktip reef shark ***** marine/brackish, reef
associated, demersal, EC
& WC
gill nets and longlines NT
Carcharhinus obscurus
dusky shark **** marine/brackish, reef
associated, pelagic, EC &
WC
longlines, hook & line and
bottom set gill nets
VU
Carcharhinus
plumbeus
sandbar shark * marine/brackish,
benthopelagic, EC & WC
longlines, bottomset gill
nets and hook & line
VU
Carcharhinus sealei
blackspot shark * marine, reef associated,
shallow water, EC & WC
gill nets and hook & line NT
Carcharhinus sorrah
spot-tail shark ***** marine, reef associated,
coastal, EC & WC
gill nets and longlines NT
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
90
Galeocerdo cuvier
tiger shark ***** marine/brackish,
benthopelagic, EC & WC
longlines, hook & line,
bottom set gill nets and
bottom trawl
NT
Glyphis gangeticus
ganges shark ! marine/brackish/freshwater,
demersal, EC
no information CR
Glyphis glyphis
speartooth shark ! marine/brackish/freshwater no information EN
Lamiopsis temminckii
broadfin shark ** marine/brackish, demersal,
EC & WC
gill nets and longlines EN
Loxodon macrorhinus
sliteye shark *** marine, demersal, EC & WC gill nets and longlines LC
Negaprion acutidens
sicklefin lemon
shark
** marine/brackish, reef
associated, demersal, EC
& WC
gill nets and longlines VU
Prionace glauca
blue shark ** marine, pelagic-oceanic, EC
& WC
longlines, hook & line,
pelagic & bottom trawls
NT
Rhizoprionodon
acutus
milk shark ***** marine/freshwater/brackish,
benthopelagic, EC & WC
bottom trawl, gill nets,
longlines, hook & line,
LC
Rhizoprionodon
oligolinx
grey sharpnose
shark
***** marine, reef associated,
demersal, EC & WC
bottom trawl, gill nets,
longlines, hook & line,
LC
Scoliodon laticaudus
spadenose shark ***** marine/brackish, demersal,
EC & WC
longlines, hook & line, gill
nets, traps and bottom
trawl
NT
Triaenodon obesus
whitetip reef shark **** marine, reef associated,
demersal, EC & WC
gill nets and longlines NT
Lamnidae
Isurus oxyrinchus
shortfinmako shark **** marine, pelagic-oceanic, EC
& WC
gill nets, longlines and
hook & line
VU
Isurus paucus
longfin mako ** marine, pelagic-oceanic, EC
& WC
gill nets, longlines and
hook & line
VU
Rhincodontidae
Rhincodon typus
whale shark ! marine, pelagic-oceanic, EC
& WC
gill net VU
Stego-
stomatidae
Stegostoma fasciatum
zebra shark *** marine/brackish, reef
associated, demersal, EC
& WC
drift gill net VU
91
Squalidae
Squalus acanthias
piked dogfish ** marine/brackish,
benthopelagic, EC & WC
trawl net VU
Squalus mitsukurii
shortspine spurdog *** marine, benthopelagic, EC
& WC
trawl net DD
Hemigaleidae
Chaenogaleus
macrostoma
hooktooth shark **** marine, demersal, EC & WC gill nets and longlines VU
Hemigaleus
microstoma
sicklefin weasel
shark
*** marine, demersal, EC & WC gill nets and longlines VU
Paragaleus randalli
slender weasel
shark
** marine, demersal, EC & WC trawl net NT
Hemipristis elongata
snaggletooth shark *** marine, demersal, EC & WC gill nets, bottom trawl and
longlines
VU
Traikidae
Iago omanensis
bigeye houndshark **** marine, bathydemersal, WC trawl and gill net LC
Iago mangalorensis
mangalore
houndshark
**** marine, pelagic-oceanic,
WC
trawl NE
Iago
sp. **** marine, bathydemersal, EC trawl and gill net NE
Mustelus mosis
arabian smooth-
hound shark
***** marine, demersal, EC & WC trawl and gillnet DD
Mustelus
sp. ***** marine, demersal, EC trawl NE
Sphyrnidae
Eusphyra blochii
winghead shark ** marine/brackish,
benthopelagic, EC & WC
gill nets, stake nets,
seines, longlines and hook
& lines
NT
Sphyrna lewini
scalloped
hammerhead
***** marine/brackish, pelagic-
oceanic, EC & WC
longlines, hook & line, gill
nets and trawl nets
EN
Sphyrna mokarran
great hammerhead **** marine/brackish, pelagic-
oceanic, EC & WC
longlines, hook & line, gill
nets and trawl nets
EN
Sphyrna tudes
smalleye
hammerhead
* marine, benthopelagic, WC no information VU
Sphyrna zygaena
smooth
hammerhead
**** marine/brackish, pelagic-
oceanic, EC & WC
longlines, hook & line, gill
nets and trawl nets
VU
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
92
Proscyllidae
Eridacnis radcliffei
pygmy ribbontail
catshark
** marine, bathydemersal, EC
& WC
bottom trawls LC
Proscyllium
magnificum
magnificent
catshark
* marine, bathydemersal, EC bottom trawls NE
Echinorhinidae
Echinorhinus brucus
bramble shark **** marine, bathydemersal, EC
& WC
bottom trawls & longlines DD
Echinorhinus cookei
prickly shark * marine, benthopelagic, EC gillnet, bottom trawls &
longlines
NT
Hexanchidae
Heptranchias perlo
sharpnose sevengill
shark
** marine, bathydemersal, EC
& WC
bottom trawls and
longlines
NT
Hexanchus griseus
bluntnose sixgill
shark
** marine, bathydemersal, WC gillnet, longline, traps,
pelagic and bottom trawls
NT
Hemiscyllidae
Chiloscyllium
arabicum
arabian carpetshark **** marine, demersal, WC no information NT
Chiloscyllium griseum
grey bambooshark **** marine/ brackish, reef-
associated, EC & WC
gillnet & hook and line NT
Chiloscyllium indicum
slender
bambooshark
*** marine/ freshwater/
brackish, demersal, EC &
WC
gillnet & hook and line NT
Chiloscyllium
plagiosum
whitespotted
bambooshark
*** marine, reef-associated, EC
& WC
gillnet & bottom trawl NT
Chiloscyllium
punctatum
brownbanded
bambooshark
*** marine, reef-associated, EC gillnet,bottom trawls,
beach seine and hook and
line
VU
Ginglymosto-
matidae
Nebrius ferrugineus
tawny nurse shark *** marine, reef-associated, EC
& WC
longlines, gillnets, fixed
bottom nets and bottom
trawls
VU
Pseudo-
carcharhiidae
Pseudocarcharhias
kamoharai
crocodile shark * marine, pelagic-oceanic,
WC
pelagic & tuna longlines NT
Odontaspididae
Carcharias taurus
sand tiger shark * marine, reef-associated, EC
& WC
bottom and pelagic trawls,
fixed bottom nets and
longline
VU
93
Odontaspis ferox
small-tooth sand
tiger shark
* marine, demersal fixed bottom nets and
longline
VU
Odontaspis noronhai
bigeye sand
tigershark
* marine, demersal fixed bottom nets and
longline
DD
Scyliorhinidae
Apristurus
investigatoris
broadnose cat
shark
* marine, bathydemersal,
andaman sea
trawl net DD
Bythaelurus hispidus
bristly catshark * marine,bathydemersal trawl net NT
Cephaloscyllium silasi
indian swellshark * marine, bathydemersal, WC trawl net DD
Halaelurus quagga
quagga catshark * marine, demersal trawl net DD
Somniosidae
Centroscymnus
crepidator
longnose velvet
dogfish
** marine, bathydemersal, WC bottom trawls NT
Zameus squamulosus
velvet dogfish * marine, benthopelagic, WC bottom trawls, longlines DD
Etmopteridae
Etmopterus lucifer
blackbelly
lanternshark
* marine, benthopelagic bottom trawls DD
Etmopterus pusillus
smooth
lanternshark
* marine, benthopelagic wc bottom trawls, fixed
bottom nets and line gear
LC
Centrophoridae
Centrophorus
atromarginatus
dwarf gulper shark *** marine, benthopelagic WC
& EC
bottom trawls, fixed
bottom nets and line gear
DD
Centrophorus
granulosus
gulper shark *** marine, bathydemersal, EC
& WC
bottom trawls, pelagic
trawls and hook & line
LC
Centrophorus
moluccensis
smallfin gulper
shark
*** marine, bathydemersal, bottom trawls VU
Centrophorus
squamosus
leafscale gulper
shark
*** marine, bathydemersal, WC bottom trawls, fixed
bottom nets and line gear
DD
Centrophorus uyato
little gulper shark * marine, bathydemersal, EC
& WC
bottom trawls, fixed
bottom nets and line gear
VU
Deania profundorum
arrowhead dogfish * marine, bathydemersal, WC bottom trawls, fixed
bottom nets and line gear
NE
Myliobatidae
Aetobatus flagellum
longheated eagle
ray
** marine/ brackish,
benthopelagic, EC & WC
bottom trawl and inshore
bottom set gill nets
EN
Guidance on National Plan of Action - Sharks, India
94
Aetobatus ocellatus
spotted eagle ray ***** marine/brackish, reef
associated, WC & EC
bottom trawl and inshore
bottom set gill nets
NT
Aetomylaeus
maculatus
mottled eagle ray * marine/brackish, reef
associated, WC & EC
bottom trawl and inshore
bottom set gill nets
EN
Aetomylaeus milvus
brown eagle ray * marine, benthopelagic, WC
& EC
bottom trawl NE
Aetomylaeus nichofii
nieuhof’s eagle ray *** marine/brackish, demersal,
WC & EC
bottom trawl and inshore
bottom set gill nets
VU
Aetomylaeus
vespertilio
ornate eagle ray ** marine, benthoopelagic,
WC & EC
bottom trawl, inshore
bottom set gill nets and
traps
EN
Rhinopteridae
Rhinoptera javanica
flapnose ray ***** marine/brackish, reef
associated, WC & EC
bottom trawl and inshore
bottom set gill nets
VU
Rhinoptera jayakari
oman cownose ray * marine, benthopelagic trawl and inshore bottom
set gill nets
NE
Mobulidae
Manta birostris
giant manta ray ** gill net VU
Manta alfredi
reef manta ray * marine, reef associated/
benthopelagic, WC & EC
no information VU
Mobula thurstoni
smoothtailmobula ** marine, pelagic-oceanic,
WC & EC
gill net NT
Mobula japanica
spinetailmobula *** marine, reef associated, WC
& EC
gill net NT
Mobula tarapacana
chilean devil ray *** marine, reef associated,
oceanodromous, WC & EC
gill net DD
Mobula kuhlii
shortfin devil ray *** marine, pelagic-oceanic,
WC & EC
gill net DD
Mobula
eregoodonteke
longhornedmobula ** marine, pelagic-oceanic,
WC & EC
gill net NT
Dasyatidae
Dasyatis centroura (?)