Analysis of the supply chain and conservation status of sharks (Elasmobranchii: Superorder Selachimorpha) based on fisher knowledge

Martins, Ana Paula Barbosa, Feitosa, Leonardo Manir, Lessa, Rosangela Paula, Almeida, Zafira Silva, Heupel, Michelle, Silva, Wagner Macedo, Tchaicka, Ligia, and Silva Nunes, Jorge Luiz (2018) Analysis of the supply chain and conservation status of sharks (Elasmobranchii: Superorder Selachimorpha) based on fisher knowledge. PLoS One, 13 (3).

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Increasing fishing effort has caused declines in shark populations worldwide. Understanding biological and ecological characteristics of sharks is essential to effectively implement management measures, but to fully understand drivers of fishing pressure social factors must be considered through multidisciplinary and integrated approaches. The present study aimed to use fisher and trader knowledge to describe the shark catch and product supply chain in Northeastern Brazil, and evaluate perceptions regarding the regional conservation status of shark species. Non-systematic observations and structured individual interviews were conducted with experienced fishers and traders. The demand and economic value of shark fins has reportedly decreased over the last 10 years while the shark meat trade has increased slightly, including a small increase in the average price per kilogram of meat. Several threatened shark species were reportedly often captured off shore and traded at local markets. This reported and observed harvest breaches current Brazilian environmental laws. Fishing communities are aware of population declines of several shark species, but rarely take action to avoid capture of sharks. The continuing capture of sharks is mainly due to a lack of knowledge of environmental laws, lack of enforcement by responsible authorities, and difficulties encountered by fishers in finding alternative income streams. National and regional conservation measures are immediately required to reduce overfishing on shark populations in Northeastern Brazil. Social and economic improvements for poor fishing communities must also be implemented to achieve sustainable fisheries.

Item ID: 53526
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2018 Martins et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Funders: Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento Científico do Maranhão (FAPEMA), Universidade Federal do Maranhão (UFMA), Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biodiversidade e Conservação (PPGBC)
Date Deposited: 09 May 2018 07:45
FoR Codes: 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3005 Fisheries sciences > 300505 Fisheries management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830204 Wild Caught Fin Fish (excl. Tuna) @ 100%
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