SEAFDEC PROGRAMS OF ACTIVITIES IN 2017
THRUST 4. PROVIDING POLICY AND ADVISORY SERVICES FOR PLANNING AND EXECUTING MANAGEMENT OF FISHERIES
4.4 Research and Management of Sharks and Rays
During the past decades, several species of marine animals had been considered under international concern. These include among others, sharks and rays, leading to the development of the International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks by FAO in 1998, and subsequently the proposals for listing of several shark and ray species in the CITES Appendices. From 2013 to 2017, twenty-seven (27) species of pelagic sharks and rays have been proposed for listing under CITES, with 12 species of sharks (Carcharodon carcharias, Cetorhinus maximus, Rhincodon typus, Sphyrna lewini, S. mokarran, S. zygaena, Carcharinus longimanus, C. falciformis, Alopias pelagicus, A. vulpinus, A. superciliosus, and Lamna nasus) and two species of manta rays (Mobula birostris and M. alfredi), and all nine species of Mobula rays (Mobula kuhli, M. thurstoni, M. japanica, M. tarapacana, M. mobular, M. hypostoma, M. rochebrunei, M. munkiana, and M. eregoodootenke) have been accepted for listing in Appendix II of CITES. All five species of sawfishes (Pristis pristis, P. clavata, P. pectinata, P. zijsron, and Anoxypristis cuspidata) are already listed in Appendix I of CITES. It has therefore become necessary for the Southeast Asian region to come up with justifications to avert future proposals to list the region’s economically-important species of sharks and rays in the CITES Appendices.
As means of addressing the global concern on sharks and rays, SEAFDEC/MFRDMD and TD have collaborated to implement the projects “Research for Enhancement of Sustainable Utilization and Management of Sharks and Rays in the Southeast Asian Region” and
Spotted sardinella (Amblygaster sirm) Report of the 2nd Core
Expert Meeting on Comparative Studies for Management of Purse Seine Fisheries in the Southeast Asian Region
“Improvement of Data Collection of the Commercially Exploited Aquatic and Threatened Species.” Implemented from 2013 and scheduled for completion in 2019, these two projects are aimed at assisting the countries to collect sharks landing data and coming up with a regional picture that could serve as basis for reporting catch and landing of sharks and rays in the countries’ national fisheries statistics at species level and thus, facilitate international trade of sharks and rays in the future. In addition, the one-year project “SEAFDEC-EU Regional Project on Sharks and Rays Data Collection” was also undertaken in 2015-2016 to compile relevant data in seven countries, namely: Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam, based on the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on Sharks Data Collection in Southeast Asian Waters. The collected regional data was used to support discussions during the “Technical Meeting on Determining the Appropriate Model for Assessment of Shark Stocks Based on Existing Data from the Southeast Asian Countries” on 7-8 June 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand, for the development of appropriate stock assessment model for selected shark species. Discussions were also made among the resource persons and stock assessment researchers from the Southeast Asian countries on the appropriate method for shark stock assessment during the “Technical Consultation Meeting on Shark Stock Assessment and Improvement Data Collection in Southeast Asian Region” on 18-20 September 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand. During the latter Technical Meeting, it was agreed that the Yield Per Recruit (YPR) model should be considered as the most appropriate method for examining the resource and fishery status of sharks and rays in the region. The Meeting also came up with a workplan for the conduct of stock assessment training workshop in order to
promote the use of YPR model for sharks and rays in the SEAFDEC Member Countries. The regional network of shark and ray scientists and stock assessment researchers were also established with online communication for sharing of information and knowledge.
Technical Consultation Meeting on Shark Stock Assessment and Improvement Data Collection in Southeast Asian Region
Besides the development of stock assessment model, SEAFDEC also convened the “Technical Workshop on Improvement of Regional Fisheries Statistics on Sharks” on 13-15 June 2017 in Siem Reap, Cambodia, to discuss the updated data, summarize the information based on existing data, and assess the on-going regional initiatives of SEAFDEC related to sharks to clarify the areas for improvement and identify the future challenges for SEAFDEC in supporting the management of sharks in Southeast Asia through the regional fisheries statistics. The Workshop also developed the way forward for improving the information on sharks landing in the future.
Based on the activities undertaken by MFRDMD and TD since 2013, several information materials were produced for printing, i.e. “Identification Guide to Sharks, Rays and Skates of the Southeast Asian Region”; Standard
Operating Procedures on “Sharks, Rays and Skates Data Collection in the Southeast Asian Waters”, “DNA barcoding reveals species of sharks in Malaysia and Viet Nam,”
“DNA barcoding reveals species of rays in Malaysia and Viet Nam,” Terminal Report on “Sharks, Rays and Skates Data Collection in the Southeast Asian Waters (2015-2016)”
in Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Viet Nam, as well as a number of information papers to disseminate the information and outputs from the projects on sharks and rays undertaken by SEAFDEC.
Nevertheless, based on the one-year data collection on sharks and rays, it was noted that data in some countries are still insufficient to support fishery management. Therefore, a follow-up 12-month (2017-2018) “Study on Taxonomy and Biology Using Morphometric and Meristic Data, and DNA Barcoding Methods” would be carried out in several landing sites in Viet Nam (Vung Tau and and Binh Dinh) and Cambodia (Preah Sihanouk), as well as in Malaysia (Pahang, Perak and Sabah). The Technical Meeting on Sharks and Rays Data Collection Planning 2017-2018 was convened on 22 June 2017. Subsequently, to enhance the capacity of the staff of the Member Countries on elasmobranch taxonomy and biology as well as on the technique in data collection of sharks and rays up to species level, MFRDMD organized the “Regional Training and Workshop on Chondrichthyans Taxonomy, Biology and Data Collection” on 13-17 August 2017 at MFRDMD, in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia. An
“On-Site Training on Chondrichthyans Taxonomy and Biology” was also organized from 26 to 29 September 2017 in Vung Tau, Viet Nam. After attending the training and workshop, enumerators from Cambodia and Viet Nam became more confident to start data collection up to species level, as well as in the verification and analysis of the data collected. The 1-year data collection in Viet Nam would be supported by MFRDMD and the data collection in Cambodia by TD.
MFRDMD also proposed to conduct a “Survey on Fishers Dependencies, Marketing and Trade of Sharks and Rays in Java and Sumatera, Indonesia,” taking into account the descriptive analysis of secondary data from local and federal fisheries statistics office or customs data, as well as marketing channel analysis. In this regard, MFRDMD proposed
Identification Guide to Sharks, Rays and Skates of the Southeast
SOP on Sharks, Rays and Skates Data Collection in the Southeast Asian Waters
to visit the Research Center for Fisheries and the Research Center for Socio-economic of Marine and Fisheries in Jakarta, Indonesia, to discuss with relevant government officers the planned survey, and to visit the landing sites at Cilacap, and Pelabuhan Ratu, as well as markets in Surabaya and Semarang in October 2017. However, these activities were postponed to 2018.