Sharkpedia podcast

Shark Fishing and Trade in Brazil with Dr. Ana Martins

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This week we are joined by Dr. Ana Martins, a postdoctoral researcher at Dalhousie University studying the shark meat trade. The shark fin and meat trade is a common media topic but angler knowledge and opinions seem to be rarely incorporated into these discussions. In her home country of Brazil, Dr. Martins utilized angler knowledge to uncover trends in the shark meat trade. Listen through the episode until the end for a rather fishy field story which will have you laughing in your seat.

The article which is the base of our discussion this week is, "Analysis of the supply chain and conservations status of sharks (Elasmobranchii: Superorder Selachimopha) based on fisher knowledge"

Article Summary:

Increasing fishing effort has caused declines in shark populations worldwide. Understanding biological and ecological characteristics of sharks is essential to effectively implement management measures, but to fully understand drivers of fishing pressure social factors must be considered through multidisciplinary and integrated approaches. Martins et al. aimed to use fisher and trader knowledge to describe the shark catch and product supply chain in Northeastern Brazil, and evaluate perceptions regarding the regional conservation status of shark species. They had 3 main objectives: identify the presence of a supply chain of two shark products (meat and fins), (2) describe the supply chain for each product, and (3) qualitatively evaluate fisher and trader perceptions regarding the regional conservation status of shark species. Several threatened shark species were reportedly often captured off shore and traded at local markets. This reported and observed harvest breaches current Brazilian environmental laws. Fishing communities are aware of population declines of several shark species, but rarely take action to avoid capture of sharks. The continuing capture of sharks is mainly due to a lack of knowledge of environmental laws, lack of enforcement by responsible authorities, and difficulties encountered by fishers in finding alternative income streams. National and regional conservation measures are immediately required to reduce overfishing on shark populations in Northeastern Brazil. Social and economic improvements for poor fishing communities must also be implemented to achieve sustainable fisheries.

Follow Dr. Ana Martins on Twitter @martins_apb

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