Draft Executive Summary: Pelagic Thresher Shark

IOTC Secretariat (2015) Draft Executive Summary: Pelagic Thresher Shark. IOTC, Bali, Indonesia

Stock status: There remains considerable uncertainty in the stock status due to lack of information necessary for assessment or to for the development of other indicators of the stock (Table 1). The ecological risk assessment (ERA) conducted for the Indian Ocean by the WPEB and SC in 2012 (IOTC–2012–SC15–INF10 Rev_1) consisted of a semi-quantitative risk assessment analysis to evaluate the resilience of shark species to the impact of a given fishery, by combining the biological productivity of the species and its susceptibility to each fishing gear type. Pelagic thresher shark received a high vulnerability ranking (No. 3) in the ERA rank for longline gear because it was characterised as one of the least productive shark species, and with a high susceptibility to longline gear. Despite its low productivity, pelagic thresher shark has a low vulnerability ranking to purse seine gear due to its low susceptibility for this particular gear. The current IUCN threat status of ‘Vulnerable’ applies to pelagic thresher shark globally (Table 2). There is a paucity of information available on this species and this situation is not expected to improve in the short to medium term. Pelagic thresher sharks are commonly taken by a range of fisheries in the Indian Ocean. Because of their life history characteristics –they are relatively long lived (+ 20 years), mature at 8–9 years, and have few offspring (2 pups every year), the pelagic thresher shark is vulnerable to overfishing. There is no quantitative stock assessment and limited basic fishery indicators currently available for pelagic thresher shark in the Indian Ocean therefore the stock status is uncertain.