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Shark fisheries in the Southeast Pacific: A 61-year analysis from Peru

, : Shark fisheries in the Southeast Pacific: A 61-year analysis from Peru. F1000research 3: 164-164

Peruvian waters exhibit high conservation value for sharks. This contrasts with a lag in initiatives for their management and a lack of studies about their biology, ecology and fishery. We investigated the dynamics of Peruvian shark fishery and its legal framework identifying information gaps for recommending actions to improve management. Further, we investigated the importance of the Peruvian shark fishery from a regional perspective. From 1950 to 2010, 372,015 tons of sharks were landed in Peru. From 1950 to 1969, we detected a significant increase in landings; but from 2000 to 2011 there was a significant decrease in landings, estimated at 3.5% per year. Six species represented 94% of landings: blue shark ( Prionace glauca), shortfin mako ( Isurus oxyrinchus), smooth hammerhead ( Sphyrna zygaena), common thresher ( Alopias vulpinus), smooth-hound ( Mustelus whitneyi) and angel shark ( Squatina californica). Of these, the angel shark exhibits a strong and significant decrease in landings: 18.9% per year from 2000 to 2010. Peru reports the highest accumulated historical landings in the Pacific Ocean; but its contribution to annual landings has decreased since 1968. Still, Peru is among the top 12 countries exporting shark fins to the Hong Kong market. Although the government collects total weight by species, the number of specimens landed as well as population parameters (e.g. sex, size and weight) are not reported. Further, for some genera, species-level identification is deficient and so overestimates the biomass landed by species and underestimates the species diversity. Recently, regional efforts to regulate shark fishery have been implemented to support the conservation of sharks but in Peru work remains to be done.


PMID: 27635216

DOI: 10.12688/f1000research.4412.1

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