Program(s) in charge: Ecosystem & Bycatch Program
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- Contribute towards the development and implementation of a regional shark fishery sampling program in the EPO, providing data for several types of stock assessments at IATTC (e.g. data-limited assessments, Close Kin Mark Recapture assessments, and conventional assessments).
- In 2014, the FAO-GEF Common Oceans program (ABNJ), funded a project to improve data collection for shark fisheries in the eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO), beginning with a focus on Central America. The project (phase 1), carried out in 2014-2018 by the IATTC and OSPESCA, was a first step towards the development of a long-term EPO regional data-collection program for sharks. During Phase 1, the data available for these fisheries were identified and compiled, and recommendations were formulated for improving data collection. Also, three workshops were held on data collection, assessment methods for shark species, and designing a pilot sampling program.
A Phase 2 of the project (2018-2021), build upon the results of Phase 1 developed sampling designs for shark fisheries in Central America, and tested them via a pilot study. As a result, the IATTC staff put forward proposed sampling designs for a long-term sampling program for shark fisheries in Central America (IATTC-98-02c). Despite these recent advancements, shark stock assessments in the EPO demand similar improvements in other coastal states of the region where shark fisheries are well developed. This is the case of Ecuador (Martinez et al. (2015), Mexico (Bizarro et al, 2008; Smith et al, 2008) and Peru (Alfaro-Cordova et al., 2017; Gonzalez-Pestana et al., 2019).
Although there is already some form of shark fishery data collection in Ecuador, Mexico and Peru, and more data could be available than in Central America, the quality of those data and their value for stock assessments are limited and vary across countries. Except for Central American nations, there is limited harmonization of shark data collection methods across EPO coastal nations, and no sampling designs for shark fisheries have been developed that take into consideration the highly migratory and trans-boundary nature of these stocks within the vast EPO region.
Because of this, the FAO funded (2023-2026) an expansion of the project to cover Mexico, Ecuador and Peru.
- Relevance for management
- The planned activities and results of the project will contribute towards the development and implementation of a regional shark fishery sampling program in the EPO, providing data for several types of stock assessments at IATTC.
- 36 months
- Workplan and status
- 2023: Produce one report identifying and describing available fishery data sources on shark species in Ecuador, Mexico and Peru (Report on Existing Data Sources – Metadata). These data sources should include but not be limited to existing fishery sampling programs, trade records, research conducted at fishery institutes and universities, as well as anecdotal information.
- 2024: Expand the mapping tools developed for Central America to include new data for Ecuador, Mexico and Peru. These tools identify and map all sites where shark catches are potentially landed along each country’s EPO coastline.
- For selected landing sites, conduct in situ visits to sites, collect data on site characteristics and the level of fishing activity, and catch composition.
- 2025-2026: Conduct a feasibility study to develop a sampling program for updating of morphometric relationships and for collecting biological samples for prioritized shark species. Develop proposals and test sampling designs for data collection of shark fishery information (catch, effort and composition data).
- Initiate research to investigate the feasibility and development of sampling designs for Close Kin Mark Recapture (CKMR) analyses for prioritized shark species.
- External collaborators
- Fisheries authorities in Ecuador, Mexico and Peru.
- Report on Existing data source on shark species in Ecuador, Mexico and Peru (Metadata report)
Sampling designs and logistical plans for estimating the species and size composition of shark catches in Mexico, Ecuador and Peru.
Report of the feasibility and sampling designs for Close Kin Mark Recapture analyses
Report on final sampling design, methodology and costs.