Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India

Volume 56 Issue 1

Shark ban in its infancy: Successes, challenges and lessons learned

Khadeeja Ali and Hussain Sinan
doi: 10.6024/jmbai.2014.56.1.01750s-05

The slow growing nature and low reproductive output of sharks make them extremely vulnerable to over fishing. The shark fisheries of the Maldives expanded in the early 1970s. When management measures failed to enhance the declining shark fisheries, with inadequate information on shark stocks, in the face of uncertainty, precautionary approach was adopted and a total ban on all types of shark fishing was imposed. Nevertheless, a fishing ban was not able to halt the import and trade of shark souvenirs. From a socio-economic perspective, insufficient work was done to minimize the impact of the ban on former shark fisherfolk. Lack of broad stakeholder consultations prior to the ban and without providing a phase-out period for the shark fishery and declaring a total ban were some of the major factors
contributing to the issues. Inability to impose an explicit ban on the trade, import and export of shark products is another major factor hindering the conservation purpose of the shark ban. 


Shark fisheries; over-exploitation; Maldives; implementation issues.

Date : 15-10-2014