Research Alert

Limited Data on Indonesia’s Sharks and Rays Leaves Species Vulnerable to Overfishing

1. Fisheries management measures are urgently needed to reduce the threat of overfishing to shark and ray populations, but a lack of in-depth information on the ecology and life histories of shark and ray species in Indonesian waters—a global hotspot of shark and ray diversity—is a serious obstacle for designing science-based management for this highly threatened species group. 
2. The researchers in this study used a modified version of maximum intrinsic rate of population (Rmax) increase to estimate vulnerability of shark and ray species to overfishing, which is a method typically used for management of bony fish such as cod and tuna, but was modified to take into account the life history traits of sharks and rays. 
3. Using Rmax, the researchers were able to calculate risk values for only 26 out of the 208 species of shark and ray found in Indonesia’s waters (just 12.5 percent of the shark and ray species), which highlights the high vulnerability of species for which data is available as well as the importance of gathering basic biological information for the rest of the shark and ray species found in Indonesia’s waters. 

Study and Journal:  "Quantifying vulnerability of sharks and rays species in Indonesia: Is biological knowledge sufficient enough for the assessment"   from  IOP Conf. Series: Earth and Environmental Science 
WCS Co-Author(s):  U. Mardhiah (Lead) , WCS Indonesia Program ;  H. Booth; B.M. Simeone; E. Muttaqin; M. Ischan; and I. Yulianto. , WCS Indonesia program

Journal Link: IOP Conf. Series: Earth and Environmental Science