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Indonesia – Top Tuna Fishing Nation - Kills Most Sharks


A recent report has revealed that Indonesia and India are responsible for huge numbers of by-catch from fishing, with Indonesia ranking top for killing sharks. These numbers have encouraged the introduction of regulations to protect the death of these species.
Reporting to the FAO tuna catch numbers of 994.822 M/T making them the world’s top tuna fishing nation, Indonesia killed over 14,000 tons of hammerhead sharks from 2002-2011.
The report was requested by the EU’s executive European Commission and the research carried out by wildlife trade monitoring network, TRAFFIC, who studied seven different species of sharks and rays.
While India and Indonesia together accounted for a considerable 20 percent of the global capture of these species, Spain and Taiwan didn’t follow too far behind. For hammerhead sharks alone the global catch total came to the massive total of just under 40,000 tons.
New Convention on International Trade and Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) regulations to monitor the sustainable level of these species will take effect in September 2014, giving countries time to determine what this level should be.
Sharks have been subject to overfishing for some time, said to be caused in main by a high demand for shark fins in China.
The new measures will aim to protect the ocean whitetip shark, porbeagle shark, three species of hammerhead shark and two species of manta rays, which have all been classified as endangered on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.
“There was great elation when these sharks and manta rays were listed in CITES this March, but although it was a significant moment for the conservation world, now comes the task of making these listings work in practice as time is running out for some of these species,” said Glenn Sant, TRAFFIC’s Marine Programme Leader.
“CITES listings do not take away the need for comprehensive fisheries management, they represent one critical part of that management through aiming to control trade and prevent international trade in products of these species being sourced from unsustainable or illegal fisheries.”