Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fishing prohibitions produce more sharks along with problems for fishing communities

09.06.2016

Study finds that shark conservation must go hand-in-hand with livelihood diversification

Scientists working for Murdoch University, the Wildlife Conservation Society, The Nature Conservancy, and other groups have good news about fishing closures established in Indonesia's shark sanctuary: It's good for sharks and other fish, all of which are more abundant within zones with fishing restrictions.


This is a grey reef shark. Scientists working for Murdoch University, the Wildlife Conservation Society, The Nature Conservancy, and other groups have found that fishing closures established in Indonesia's shark sanctuary are good for sharks and other fish, but bad for people who rely on shark fishing for their livelihoods, who have few other options but to fish in unprotected areas when fishing closures are put in place and sometimes participate in illegal practices.

Credit: Steve Lindfield

The bad news: People who rely on shark fishing for their livelihoods have few other options but to fish in unprotected areas when fishing closures are put in place. Fishers go as far as sometimes making ends meet with illegal practices. The study examines both the effects of fishing restrictions on sharks and the impacts of those changes on local community members who fish for a living.

The study, titled "Higher Abundance of Marine Predators and Changes in Fishers' Behavior Following Spatial Protection within the World's Biggest Shark Fishery," appears in a recent edition of Frontiers in Marine Science. The authors of the study are: Vanessa Jaiteh of Murdoch University; Steve Lindfield of the Coral Reef Research Foundation; Sangeeta Mangubhai of The Nature Conservancy and the Wildlife Conservation Society; Carol Warren of Murdoch University; Ben Fitzpatrick of Oceanwise Australia; and Neil Loneragan of Murdoch University.

The study on the relationship between shark conservation efforts and the behavioral changes in people after fishing closures are implemented is an important one for Indonesia, which is both a center of enormous marine diversity and the largest contributor to the international trade in shark fins.

"Sharks are apex predators that play a huge role in maintaining ecological balance in the region's marine ecosystems," said Dr. Sangeeta Mangubhai of the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Nature Conservancy, one of the co-authors on the study. "Protecting shark populations from overfishing is not merely a matter of establishing marine protected areas. Such measures also require considerations of increased fishing effort in unprotected areas and how to provide more livelihood opportunities for people who depend on marine resources."

Vanessa Jaiteh examined the impact of no-take zones on both sharks and people inside a recently established shark sanctuary along the coastal area of Raja Ampat, Indonesia as part of her PhD. Working with local scientists from The Nature Conservancy, she measured the abundance of sharks and other fishes within two no-take zones (where fishing was prohibited) and one open access zone where fishing for sharks and other species continued unabated. The no-take zones were established by Misool Eco Resort in partnership with local communities with traditional land and sea rights to the area. Predictably, abundance levels for all fishes--mackerels, tunas, snappers, groupers, and sharks--were much higher in the no-take zones when compared to the open access area. Governance within both the no-take zones and open access zone was found to be the number one determinant of higher numbers of sharks in the areas studied.

The second phase of the study--an examination of perceptions and behavioral changes in individuals from coastal communities--revealed that most people living outside of Raja Ampat, but traveling to fish in this regency, were unsure of why sharks were being protected. In interviews conducted with people simultaneously with field surveys on sharks and fish, respondents felt that government agencies were not considering their dependence on fishing for existence. Also, participants in the survey indicated that fishing closures not only forced them to shift their activities to unprotected areas, but also prompted some to engage in illicit activities such as the trafficking of illegal petrol.

"In some areas, ecotourism centered on sharks and coral reefs actually provides a livelihood alternative to fishing," stated Jaiteh. "However, we now realize that it also may be shifting fishing pressure to other areas and promoting illegal activity. Only a multi-dimensional effort focused on both protection of sharks and livelihood security will achieve sustainable results, with benefits to both overharvested marine life and coastal fishing communities."

Media Contact

John Delaney
jdelaney@wcs.org
718-220-3275

 @TheWCS

http://www.wcs.org 

John Delaney | EurekAlert!

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dune ecosystem modelling
23.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Understanding animal social networks can aid wildlife conservation
23.06.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>