This plan will help protect at-risk shark, skate and ray species by improving recordings of species caught as bycatch. The project involves teaching fishers the importance of recording specific species instead of simply writing that they caught a shark or ray. By gathering more specific data, officials will be able to manage stocks more sustainably.
Ali Hood, Director of Conservation at The Shark Trust explained that many shark populations in the North and Irish seas have declined dramatically in recent years.
Co-operative sustainable development manager Chris Shearlock explains that because “little importance has traditionally been given to shark stocks compared to more commercial species, detailed information for individual species is hard to ascertain.”
“We are providing species identification training with a range of support materials to ensure sharks, which are vital to the health of our fisheries, receive the level of protection they need,” Shearlock said.
To learn more about shark identification:
- Read this article from BBC News: Shark identification training for fishermen
- And this one from the Co-operative: How we’re helping to protect endangered British shark populations
- Check out this article about do-it-yourself shark DNA kit: Basking Sharks: DIY DNA Sampling
- And this one: Tracking Sharks: Real-Time Data From an Underwater Robot
Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.