Fisheries Management Reform

Fisheries Management Reform

Hussain Aga Khan

The Challenge: Overfishing, largely driven by international demand for fins, meat, and other shark products, is causing the decline of shark populations worldwide. SCF will tackle this greatest obstacle to shark population recovery by ensuring that fisheries supplying the global trade in shark products are sustainably and legally sourced.

Solution: Targeted, ambitious, and global fisheries management reform at the international, national, regional, and local levels will reduce the mortality of sharks, prevent further population declines, and set shark species on the path to recovery.

Expected Impact: In 2022, SCF worked with the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Oceans 5, and the Flotilla Foundation to provide resources for a sophisticated global campaign. Through our work together, culminating at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) triennial Conference of Parties (CoP19) in Panama in November, over two-thirds majorities agreed to regulate the global trade of all hammerhead and requiem shark species, as well as the remainder of the guitarfish family.

Encompassing over 90% of the current shark fin trade, this decision is a transformational step on the path to achieving sustainable global conservation. It guarantees that the vast majority of the global shark fin trade will be regulated under CITES Appendix II, which aims to ensure wildlife trade is legal and sustainable and will not lead to species’ extinction.

With the global scope of CITES regulations, these decisions provide the impetus for sweeping global fisheries management reform, if implemented correctly and strategically. SCF and its grantees will now work with governments implementing the legally binding CITES obligations at the international, regional, and national levels. This work will secure strong and transformative management measures for shark and ray populations that have declined due to unmanaged or poorly managed catch and trade.

SCF will support projects aimed at reducing the mortality of shark species captured for trade through the adoption of at least 60 effective and science-based management measures for sharks at the national, regional, or international levels.

Projects supported under this strategic objective will achieve the following:

· Establish catch/trade limits or prohibitions and trade bans at the national level or via Regional Fisheries Management Organizations.

· Accelerate CITES compliance action to ensure sustainable trade limits are enforced.

· Support of further CITES shark listings where needed.

· Increase confiscations and seizures of illegal shark trade.

Map of Fisheries Management Reform Projects 

For a summary of the full SCF Investment Strategy, click here.