Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Sustainable Shark Fishing?

Sawsharks? Who would have thought... Click for detail!

Bingo, and I cite,
To some, the solution is to simply stop taking them from our oceans, or prohibit carriage, sale or trade in shark fins. Approaches such as bans and alternative livelihoods for fishers (e.g. ecotourism) may play some role in controlling fishing mortality but will not solve this crisis because sharks are mostly taken as incidental catch and play an important role in food security. Here, we show that moving to sustainable fishing is a feasible solution. 
Well - yes and no!
A big YES to sustainable fisheries and certified sustainable fins! 
And of course sustainable fishing for some, comparatively few species is possible, and of course establishing well managed fisheries for those species is very much a feasible goal, and of course, the developed countries should assist the developing ones, and of course full traceability would be great!

But only in the long term - right?
Because short term, it just simply aint gonna happen anywhere besides the USA, Australia, maybe NZ and Canada and hopefully once Europe.
And like I said a squillion times, we simply do not have that time and need fast, stop-gap solutions like fishing moratoria, Shark sanctuaries and even better, those mega MPAs that protect the Sharks, their prey and their habitat - and yes the latter largely work!
Later on, once good management has indeed been established, some countries may decide to relax the prohibition - but right now, it's by far the most practicable solution.

And the bycatch?
Read this - and this!
Long story short, that bloody bycatch is of course a cause of great concern, and mitigation is exceedingly complicated - and this incidentally under any scenario including a managed fishery!
But contrary to what is being suggested, this does not automatically invalidate those Shark sanctuaries, but it certainly greatly impinges on their effectiveness at reducing Shark mortality below sustainable levels.
Methinks they work and Nick does not - but as long as there is no scientific evidence one way or the other, we definitely need to give them a chance!

And one last thought if I may.
Commercial fishermen fish what the traders tell them to fish = it is the traders that drive the fishery and I would argue, it is they who also drive most of the IUU. Methinks we need to much more concentrate on the trade, especially domestically, the more as the traders are far fewer and much more visible (and thus much easier to monitor), and that by the nature of what they do they also dispose of a wealth of data about the fishery.
Think about it.

Anyway, nice paper.
Certainly useful and truthful - but with caveats!
And, do click on, and read the links! :)

Good article here, infographic here!

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