States endorsing the IPOA-Sharks should be able to assess the state of the stocks under their jurisdictions, including the impacts of ecosystem changes resulting from the effects fishing, pollution and habitat change. They should also have the research capacity to assess the effects of climate change or environmental change on shark stocks. Such research should meet acknowledged scientific standards. Data generated by research and monitoring should be promptly analysed and the results published in a readily understood style and should be made available for peer review to ensure procedures and standards adopted are defensible.
There is a need to provide appropriate staffing, training, buildings and other facilities to undertake monitoring, research and management of shark resources. In most instances the amount of human and financial resources accessible to shark researchers and managers must increase for conservation and management to improve.
Training is a crucial component in the preparation and successful implementation of data collection programmes and must be given high priority. Adequate training and supervision of staff involved in fishery monitoring are essential if the data collected are to be valid. Staff are frequently expected to work in remote areas or as sole observers aboard ships, often with no contact with their supervisors or colleagues for extended periods. Regular visits, incorporating quality control, should be made by supervisory staff to data collection sites and regular in-service training sessions need to be held. Training courses and workshops should target a representative number of national staff involved in various phases of a fishery data collection programme and should be an ongoing activity. Participants should include fishers, data collectors, supervisors, researchers, computer operators, and decision makers.
It is desirable to establish stakeholder partnerships and co-management structures, involving the fisheries sectors together with public policy-makers and fisheries scientists, external funding bodies, and stakeholders representing community interests. Training for stakeholders participating in these processes is also desirable.
Limited technical and capital resources and gaps in scientific training in many developing countries mean that development assistance including science and technology contributions from other countries is a required for widespread implementation of the IPOA-Sharks. International cooperation is one way of building up management, reporting and monitoring capacity in countries where fisheries science and ecosystem management needs to be developed. This should be a partnership that involves local and external experts to bring together available knowledge, to organize it, and to build capacity.
States endorsing the IPOA-Sharks should, where appropriate, provide resources to support development regional Shark Plans and participate in existing or new bilateral and multilateral agreements and RFMOs for the conservation and management of shark resources.