Monday, September 02, 2013

100% Observer Coverage?

I wish!
Anyway, interesting remarks by Angelo.

First the good news.
Shelley Clarke's ominous report appears to indicate that coverage of the purse seine fleets operating in the WCPFC is certainly at, or near that target. Let's also assume that most of those observers are reporting accurately which is by no means a given in light of persistent reports of corruption.

But of course that's not the whole story.
Especially the data from the foreign distant water fleets remain poor.
Plus if I remember correctly (Angelo?), the by far more important source for Shark "bycatch" is the longline fishery and there, the observer coverage rate  is under 2%, and some Pacific Island countries (including some with declared shark “sanctuaries”) appear to have 0% longline observer coverage for their own flagged vessels, meaning that the door for abuse is still wide open!
So, there remains much to do!

And the remarks about China?
Very interesting! At least in HK, the anti-graft campaign is undoubtedly having an effect, as does the relentless pressure by the various advocacy groups. But this is a supply limited fishery and it remains to be seen whether and when this will translate into less Sharks being killed. Maybe one day but not now - and more likely with respect to the pelagic fisheries than for the coastal ones where alas, the trend is for more people targeting and eating Sharks as the other more prized big Fishes are being fished away.

Yes as always it is complicated!
To be continued!


Shark Defenders said...

*on purse seiners, in the Marshall Islands!

DaShark said...


And on long liners, esp any that fly the Marshallese flag? :)

Shark Defenders said...

And you are right about the longliners, but I think the average is about 0.25% with many countries having 0%. Electronic monitoring and port enforcement are probably the places to start for longline enforcement.

Shark Defenders said...

I prefer the second half of the article to the first. Our conversation was focused on the Pacific, but naturally the questions gets asked, "But what about China?" The headline is the result of that line of questioning.

DaShark said...

Thank you for the clarifications!

I would argue that the most practicable target for effective and efficient enforcement are the comparatively few and highly visible traders.
Make it a condition of their license to meticulously document where they got their ware from, and let them prove that they have sourced it from sustainable and legal fisheries... wishing them the best of success! :)
The aquarium trade already operates with EIAs and certifications, so the concept is not completely alien to fisheries.

Asian demand - we will see.
Things do look brighter - but so far, I remain unconvinced that this will really translate into less Sharks being killed.
Keep up with the brilliant work on those sanctuaries!