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These guidelines have been produced to support implementation of the International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks (IPOA-Sharks). They are addressed to decision-makers and policy -makers associated with conserving shark and other chondrichthyan species and with managing the harvest of these resources, but they should also be of interest to fishing industries and other parties.
The IPOA-Sharks is consistent with the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, agreements from the 1995 United Nations Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Migratory Fish Stocks, and any applicable rules of international law. It encompasses all shark and other chondrichthyan fisheries, both target and non-target fisheries, whether they be industrial, artisanal or traditional fisheries or fishing programmes designed to reduce risk of shark attack on humans.
The guidelines are intended to provide general advice and a framework for development and implementation of Shark Plans and Shark Assessment Reports prepared at national, subregional and regional levels. They are also intended to provide general advice and a framework for joint Shark Plans for shared transboundary species of shark. They cover the four elements (“species conservation” “biodiversity maintenance”, “habitat protection” and “management for sustainable use”) of the IPOA-Sharks and the four dimensions (ecological, economic, social and governance) of the FAO Sustainable Development Reference System).

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