Shark conservation and management policy: A review and primer for non-specialists

D. S. Shiffman, Neil Hammerschlag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

There is increasing concern for the conservation of sharks among scientists, environmental conservation advocates, and the interested public, but misunderstanding among policy non-specialists about which conservation and management policies are available, and which might work best for certain situations, persists. Here we present a review of fisheries management and conservation literature relating to sharks. Policies are broadly divided into target-based policies that aim for sustainable fisheries exploitation (e.g. fisheries quotas) and limit-based policies that aim to prevent all fisheries exploitation of entire taxa (e.g. marine reserves). A list of the pros and cons of each policy is included, as is a decision tree to aid in selection of the most appropriate policy. Our goal is that this paper will allow policy non-specialists, including scientists without policy training, environmental activists, and concerned citizens, to make informed decisions when advocating for shark conservation. There is increasing concern for the conservation of sharks among scientists, environmental conservation advocates, and the interested public, but there is a misunderstanding among policy non-specialists about which conservation and management policies are available, and which might work best for certain situations. Here we present a comprehensive review of fisheries management and conservation literature relating to sharks. Policies are broadly divided into target-based policies that aim for sustainable fisheries of exploitation of species which can withstand it (e.g. fisheries quotas) and limit-based policies that aim to ban all fisheries exploitation of entire taxa (e.g. marine reserves). A thorough list of the pros and cons of each policy is included, as is a decision tree to aid in selection of the most appropriate policy. Our goal is that this paper will allow policy non-specialists, including scientists without policy training, environmental activists, and concerned citizens, to make informed decisions when advocating for shark conservation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAnimal Conservation
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2016

Keywords

  • Conservation policy
  • Elasmobranchs
  • Fisheries
  • Marine reserves
  • Overfishing
  • Protected areas
  • Sharks
  • Threatened species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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