WWF and TRAFFIC have released a new report that shows the need for a more concerted effort in managing shark fisheries in the Coral Triangle.
The report, An Overview of Shark Utilization in the Coral Triangle Region, examines the catch, trade, and management of sharks in waters of the six Coral Triangle countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Timor Leste, plus the neighbouring countries of Vietnam and Fiji.
Indonesia and Malaysia are among the top 20 shark catching nations in the world, Indonesia being the single largest catcher.
"This report identifies crucial gaps in these countries' implementation of management measures and data collection. In some cases this reflects inconsistency with basic requirements of regional bodies and international conventions of which they are members," says Glenn Sant, TRAFFIC Global Marine Program Leader.
The key issues highlighted by the report include the general absence of specific management measures for sharks, a lack of species identification in shark catch and trade reports, and the general lack of available data on both shark catch and trade across the region.
"A lack of data is detrimental to the sustainable management of sharks in the region and needs to be urgently addressed as sharks are heavily targeted in several of these countries," Mr Sant said.