Monday, June 13, 2016

Shark population threatened due to fin harvesting

Public Release: 11-Apr-2016
Shark population threatened due to fin harvesting
Study shows shark conservation needs to include alternative livelihoods for fin harvesters

The world's largest shark fin industry lies in the heart of the Coral Triangle, a region of the Indian and Pacific Oceans home to the world's most diverse coral reefs and known as the Amazon of the seas. This idyllic-sounding environment sustains an industry responsible for the deaths of over 3 million sharks a year. With a reported annual catch of 100,000 tons, Indonesia's shark fishery contributes more to the international shark fin trade than any other nation.

Shark fins are tempting targets for fishermen from Indonesian island communities because they have high monetary value and shark fishing is one of the most lucrative livelihoods in these remote coastal regions. The finning industry presents the main livelihood for fishermen in this region and the enormous profits have transformed remote coastal villages to cash-based communities. But in recent years, shark populations have seen a worrying drop in numbers.

The staggering increase in the supply of shark fins to a global market has led to overexploitation of these populations and it not only affects the biological ecosystem but also the highly profitable marine tourism industry. To protect both the sharks as well as the local economy, conservationists and scientists are urgently calling for better fisheries management.


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