Shark conservation and fisheries management across the globe
Whether humans are harvesting shark meat and shark fins for consumption, sale, trade, or religious/cultural ceremonies, human behavior, and beliefs shape the way we catch and utilize shark and ray products. The historic, social, cultural, and economic components of fisheries are important drivers in shark and ray exploitation, and thus need to be considered and incorporated into shark research and conservation. Although historically large-scale commercial and industrial fisheries have been the focus of scientific research and conservation, small-scale and artisanal fisheries are an important source of livelihood for many coastal communities throughout the globe. There is a lack of scientific information available for small-scale fisheries which complicates management since there isn’t a way to determine population health. Diverse research methods have been developed to confront the way typical fisheries analyses are done so that resources extracted from the oceans can be monitored effectively. In this chapter we will review the state of past and current small-scale fisheries in various regions of the world, focusing on Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States. The ongoing research taking place in these countries highlights the importance of communication between the powers that create regulations and the people that participate in this economic activity.