The biology of elasmobranchs makes them very vulnerable to fishing pressure and there is increasing international concern over their exploitation. In northern Australia the stocks of some species may be shared with those in southern Indonesia. Indonesia has the highest landings of elasmobranchs worldwide (>100,000 t p.a.) and millions of Indonesian artisanal fishers rely heavily on elasmobranchs taken in target fisheries. They are also taken by industrial trawlers and as bycatch in pelagic tuna fisheries. This paper, resulting from a collaborative project between Australia and Indonesia, summarises the elasmobranch fisheries; the characteristics of the fisheries are outlined, the status of the stocks are assessed, and management options described and discussed. The project focussed on representative markets and fish landing sites in southern Indonesia from 2001 to 2005. Data were from market surveys, the records of the Indonesian Directorate General of Capture Fisheries, and from research cruises. Data from the ongoing tuna monitoring programme showed that shark bycatch from the tuna fleets forms about 11% of shark landings in Indonesia. Yield per recruit and related analyses were used to integrate biological information to indicate the productivity of each species to allow for management policy options and constraints. Research cruise data show that catch rates of elasmobranchs in the Java Sea declined by at least one order of magnitude between 1976 and 1997. The results indicate strongly that many of the shark and ray species in Indonesia are overfished and that the most effective management strategy may need to involve capacity control, such as licencing, gear restrictions and catch limits, together with controls on the fin trade.
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 3, 2009
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