Reducing shark and ray mortality in the Arabian Sea: Regional workshop on shark conservation and managment in the North Indian Ocean
The Workshop ACKNOWLEDGED the need for a stronger regional cooperation and ENCOURAGED participants of the workshop to support and facilitate regional research projects. RECOGNIZING the geo-political differences in the NIO region, the Workshop RECOMMENDED that additional coordination mechanisms are identified/established to help improve management of highly migratory species, such as Sharks. The Workshop NOTED that member countries in NIO are actively engaged in the catch or bycatch of sharks (with an exception to Maldives) which needs immediate attention, ACKNOWLEDGING the results of the bycatch mitigation in Pakistan, RECOMMENDED the replication of such initiatives, such as use of sub-surface gear, LED light sticks as bycatch mitigation measures in gillnet fisheries in the NIO to have wider coverage strengthening research on mitigation measures. The Workshop NOTED the results of the LED light stick trials in Indonesia conducted by WWF-Indonesia and the Workshop participants RECOMMENDED the author to present his research at the 15th Session of the IOTC Working Party on Ecosystem and Bycatch. The Workshop ENCOURAGED strengthening the evidence on mitigation measures discussed, and RECOMMENDED to engage member states of the IOTC through its working party meetings to establish support for mitigation measures for potential adoption through the introduction of a conservation and management measure for gillnet fisheries. The workshop noted that submission of such a joint proposal would require sponsorship from member states of the IOTC for submitting at the annual meeting in 2019-2020. The Workshop NOTED the need for data analysis of bycatch and sharks and rays species composition data, and RECOGNIZED that the IOTC Secretariat had developed an Indian Ocean Shark Year Plan (IOSYP) which was endorsed by its scientific committee. The Workshop RECOMMENDED that WWF may propose to IOTC through sharing of the report that the programme is revised and that IOTC continues the IOSYP.