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7.1 Development of Shark Plans
7.2 FAO assistance
7.3 Suggested format for national, sub-regional and regional Shark Plans
7.4 Suggested format for Shark Assessment Report

7.1 Development of Shark Plans

Procedures for States and RFMOs to implement national, sub-regional or regional Shark Plans consistent with the IPOA-Sharks is prescribed in paragraphs 17-28 of the IPOA-Sharks (see Appendix 1(a)). These paragraphs are summarised in the following, and where appropriate expanded to provide additional information.

The IPOA-Sharks applies to States in the waters of which sharks are caught by their own or foreign vessels and to States the vessels of which catch sharks on the high seas. States should adopt a national plan of action for conservation and management of shark stocks (Shark Plan) if their vessels conduct directed fisheries for sharks or if their vessels regularly catch sharks in non-directed fisheries. Similarly States which have sub-regional arrangements or are members of RFMOs should, where appropriate, cooperate with a view to coordinating the Shark Plans of their members for the purpose of developing one or more joint Shark Plans. This is particularly important where transboundary, straddling, highly migratory and high seas stocks of sharks are exploited by two or more States. When developing a Shark Plan, experience of States with sub-regional arrangements and RFMOs should be taken into account, as appropriate. States, which determine that a Shark Plan is not necessary, should review that decision on a regular basis taking into account changes in their fisheries, but as a minimum, data on catches, landings and trade should be collected.

Where appropriate sub-regional arrangements and RFMOs should also develop Shark Plans. Organizations such as the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, the Sub-regional Fisheries Commission of West African States, the Latin American Organization for Fishery Development, the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission, the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna and the Oceanic Fisheries Programme of the Pacific Community have initiated efforts encouraging member countries to collect information about sharks. In some cases they have developed regional databases for the purpose of stock assessment.

States and RFMOs should carry out a regular assessment of the status of shark stocks subject to fishing so as to determine if there is a need for development of a Shark Plan. The assessment should be reported as a part of each relevant State’s Shark Plan in the suggested format below. The assessment would necessitate consistent collection of data outlined in the earlier section of these guidelines. International collaboration on data collection and data sharing systems for stock assessments is particularly important in relation to transboundary, straddling, highly migratory and high seas shark stocks.

The aim of the Shark Plan is to:

7.2 FAO assistance

The role of FAO is prescribed in paragraphs 29-31 of the IPOA-Sharks. In addition to preparing these guidelines, FAO, as part of its Regular Programme of activities, support States in the implementation of the IPOA-Sharks, including the preparation of Shark Plans and provision of in-country technical assistance. FAO will provide a list of experts and a mechanism of technical assistance to countries in connection with development of Shark Plans. FAO will report biennially through COFI on progress of the implementation of the IPOA-Sharks.

States and RFMOs should strive to collaborate through FAO and through international arrangements in research, training and the production of information and educational material.

7.3 Suggested format for national, sub-regional and regional Shark Plans

States and RFMOs should strive to have a Shark Plan by the COFI Session to be held during February 2001. Those entities that implement the Shark Plan should regularly, at least every four years, assess its implementation for the purpose of identifying cost-effective strategies for increasing its effectiveness. National and regional differences in fisheries are such that the goal of reporting by all nations requires flexibility. Nevertheless there are important steps that should be followed in developing a Shark Plan or preparing a Shark Assessment, and there are certain minimum requirements for the type of information to be reported. The type of information required for Shark Plans is given in the earlier sections of the guidelines and suggested subject headings are given as follows.

1 Introduction
1.1 Issues
2 Legal, institutional and management framework requirements

3 Human resources and capacity building requirements

4 National and regional fishery management data and research

4.1 Brief shark fishery descriptions
4.2 Associated species as discarded bycatch
4.3 Species identification, distribution and stock structure of harvested species
4.4 Associated species as discarded bycatch
4.5 Fishery monitoring and data collection methods
4.6 Scientific research
4.7 Data management
4.8 Stock assessment information
4.9 Identification of species requiring ‘special management’
5 Fishery management and species conservation
5.1 Resource constraints
5.2 SDRS criteria, objectives, indicators and reference points
5.3 Options of regulating fishing
5.4 Bycatch reduction
5.5 Encouragement of full utilization
5.6 Biodiversity and ecological considerations

7.4 Suggested format for Shark Assessment Report

States and RFMOs should report on the progress of the assessment, development and implementation of their Shark Plans as part of their biennial reporting to FAO on the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. The type of information required for the management plan is given in the earlier sections of the guidelines and suggested subject headings and format are given as follows for fisheries taking shark. A good guide to the level of detail is given in the ‘Case studies of the management of elasmobranch fisheries’ published in the FAO Fisheries Technical Paper 378. Shark Assessment Reports for species requiring ‘special management’ do not require as extensive reporting as shark fisheries and many of the suggested headings can be omitted.

1 Introduction
1.1 Issues
2 The resource
2.1 Species composition of fishery
2.2 Distribution of fishery
2.3 Associated species either as non-targeted catch or discarded bycatch
2.4 Development and current status of means of prosecuting the fishery
2.5 The harvest process
2.6 Evolution of catch
2.7 Fleet characteristics, evolution of the fleet and fishing effort
2.8 Markets
3 Management objectives
3.1 The fisheries within the context of national fisheries policies
3.2 Objectives for the management of the shark fisheries
3.3 The objective setting process
4 Management policies and the policy setting process
4.1 Identification and evaluation of policies
4.2 Policies adopted
4.3 Resource access
4.4 Gear restrictions
4.5 Vessel regulations
4.6 Biological regulations
4.7 Catch/quota allocation
4.8 Species ‘special management’
5 The management planning process
5.1 Provision of resource management advice
5.2 Fishery statistics
5.3 Methods used for collection of catch and effort data
5.4 Evaluation of catch and effort data
5.5 Data processing, storage and accessibility
5.6 Stock assessment
5.7 Measures of stock abundance
5.8 Biological advice review process
5.9 Biological management reference points
5.10 Sustainability of the resource
6 Fishery management regulations
6.1 Regulations
6.2 Regulations and the communication process
7 Law and enforcement
7.1 Legal status
7.2 Enforcement problems
7.3 Surveillance
7.4 The legal process
8 Management success
8.1 Profitability of the fishery
8.2 Issues of equity and efficiency
8.3 Management costs

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