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APPENDIX IV.5: SHARKS AND RAYS IN LATIN AMERICA (by J. SANTIAGO CARO ROS)


1 INTRODUCTION

This paper focuses on research into catches, industrial usage and trade in shark and skate, which are classified as cartilaginous species. Landings throughout the world are showing a worrying situation for this group. This has made a number of international organisations, governments, non-governmental organisations and scientists in general pay special attention to a phenomenon that appears to become worse every year.

The presence of sharks as a bycatch of other fishing exploitation such as tuna long lining and purse seine fisheries, as well as trawling and long line fisheries for groundfish, is one reason that could explain the decrease of these stocks.

Sharks are used as a raw material for commercial products over a wide range of prices. Shark meat is the product of most generic consumption. It is traded in domestic and export markets in chilled, frozen or dried-salted form. Shark liver has been used mostly as a raw material for the production of pharmaceutical products. Shark fins are one of the most quoted products, mainly in the Far East markets. More recently the cartilage has become the object of some industrial interest, since some curative properties have been attributed to it.

Thus, either as a bycatch or as target resource itself, there are many reasons for shark schools to present serious signs of risk. In addition, many species need a long time to reach their reproductive age and, unlike other commercial fishing resources, shark species have only recently been object of the benefit of specific protection measures.

Table 1 Annual world catches of sharks and rays (in tonnes)


1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

World Total

706 183

725 314

737 053

749 592

754 864

% Latin America

11.1%

12.7%

12.6%

12.2%

12.7%

Source: FAO Yearbook

The figures show a slightly increasing trend from 1991. However, it is important to specify that these figures correspond to official landings. This point is particularly relevant taking into account that, as a bycatch, shark is often returned to the sea either already dead or seriously crippled. The discard figures do not appear in any official register. According to official figures from FAO, the Latin American countries contributed between 11% and 13% to world catches of sharks and rays during the period 1991-1995.

Table 2 Annual catches of sharks and rays by Latin American and Caribbean countries (tonnes)

Country

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

Mexico

33 998

36 121

37 305

36 125

36 398

Argentina

13 582

14 903

16 659

21 869

22 970

Peru

5 586

13 571

13 908

5 926

7 070

Venezuela

6 811

7 970

7 849

8 650

9 918

Brazil

6 021

5 920

5 900

5 910

6 110

Chile

6 738

6 226

5 703

5 556

4 249

Costa Rica

1 519

1 809

1 823

2 486

2 601

Uruguay

1 160

1 198

1 260

2 300

3 332

Cuba

1 328

1 314

893

1 383

1 365

Trinidad & Tobago

922

531

440

488

520

Colombia

350

745

623

467

207

El Salvador


620

287

283

759

Other

569

1 396

414

284

468

Total

78 584

92 324

93 064

91 727

95 967

Source: FAO Yearbook

2 ARGENTINA

2.1 Main species considered

Spanish name

English name

Latin name

Tiburón

Shark

Hexanchus spp., Squalus spp., Carcharhinus spp., Alopias spp.

Gatuso

Smooth-hound

Mustelus schmitti

Cazón

Vitamin shark

Galeorhinus vitaminicus

Raya

Skate

Raja spp

Pez ángel

Angelshark

Squatina argentina

2.2 Catches

The main fishery resources of Argentina are hake (Merluccius hubbsi), squid (Illex argentinus), anchovy (Engraulis anchoita), and red shrimp (Pleoticus muelleri). The inshore species, croaker (Micropogon furnieri) and seatrout (Cynoscion striatus) are also significant as during recent years their products have gained a larger international market. In this context, sharks and rays do not represent more than an incidental appearance from these major exploitations, apart from a small volume obtained by artisanal scale operations.

Table 3 Argentina: Catches of main shark species 1992-1997 (tonnes)

Species

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

Tiburón

4 013

2 091

1 760

2 229

2 251

1 060

Gatuso

10 387

11 334

11 719

11 057

10 252

9 938

Cazón

58

230

75

104

92

103

Total

14 458

13 655

13 554

13 390

12 595

11 101

Source: Subsecretaría de Pesca

Taking the year of 1996 as a reference point and adding to Table 3 the catch figures for angelshark (4 278 tonnes) and skate (12 444 tonnes), cartilaginous species totalled 29 317 tonnes from a total catch of 1 225 958 tonnes, which represents 2.39%.

2.3 Industrialisation

The following products can be obtained from smooth-hound and vitamin shark:

These products, fillets in particular, present a number of processing and commercial features:

2.3.1 Applied technologies

Fresh- chilled

This is the form for whole, eviscerated, headed-and-gutted and fillets when the products are destined for the domestic market and when they are exported to countries within the region.

Frozen

This technology is applied to the same products when their destination is outside the region. Like fresh-chilled production, this process is carried out at authorised plants, which are mostly situated in the city of Mar del Plata.

Dried-salted

The amount of this produced is almost insignificant. It is made on an artisanal scale and is only important during the Lent period for Holy Week sales and as a substitute for Norwegian klipfish. Kingclip is used as well as smooth-hound.

Dried

This is the product form for fins. Although only a sub-product, fins are high-priced due to the great demand from Asian markets. Fins generally arrive at the dock almost as an end product and are traded by brokers who buy them directly on the dock.

2.4. Markets

2.4.1 Domestic markets

Only in the main cities, in fact almost exclusively in Buenos Aires and its surroundings, is there a trade in products made from cartilaginous species. Fresh fillets are sold at fish shops and supermarkets. Smooth hound is the species used most, although in some periods angelshark fillets and skate wings are common as well. Table 4 shows the results of a recent public opinion poll (1995) regarding consumer preferences.

Table 4 Consumer preferences in the city of Buenos Aires

Species

Consumer preference (%)

Hake

60.3

Squid

7.7

Smooth-hound

4.1

Kingclip

3.5

Angelshark

3.1

Croaker and salmon

2.5

Grouper

2.4

Pez palo

2.0

Seatrout and flounder

1.5

Other

12.9

Source: INIDEP

Although preferences for the considered species are low, the fact that 60% prefer hake has to be taken into account. In this market, fillets of gatuso cost the same as boneless fillets of hake (around US$4/kg), sometimes even more.

2.4.2 Export markets

The southern European countries, mainly Italy and Spain, have been the main importing nations for shark and smooth-hound products during recent years. Within the region, Brazil is the principal buyer for these Argentine products. In terms of value, the main exporting markets are the Asian countries, mainly Hong Kong and China.

Table 5 Annual exports of shark, cazón and gatuso from Argentina

SPECIES

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

V

Q

V

Q

V

Q

V

Q

V

Q

V

Q

Cazón

2 929

1 396

1 892

1 059

1 142

521

1 355

579

1 201

598

506

283

Gatuso

1 370

540

1 619

484

1 572

453

1 521

583

1 403

566

871

423

Shark

339

18

418

17

340

10

885

19

677

20

451

19

Total

4 638

1 954

3 929

1 560

3 054

984

3 761

1 181

3 281

1 184

1 828

725

Source: Subsecretaría de Pesca
(Q = tonnes, V = US$ 1 000)

Based on these figures, considering that Argentina exported 659 588 tonnes of fishery products with a value of US$1 000 million in 1996, the exports of gatuso, cazón and shark products represented 0.17% by volume and 0.3% in value of all fisheries products. Frozen headed-and-gutted and fillets are the main exported products derived from cazón and gatuso. Brazil, Italy and Spain are the main buying nations.

Table 6 Average FOB prices for selected products during the last six years

Species

Product

US$ per tonne

Destination

Smooth-hound

Frozen headed-and-gutted

1 785

Italy

1 061

Brazil

Frozen fillets

2 040

Italy

1 641

Brazil

Dried fins

12 325

Hong Kong

Cazón

Frozen headed-and-gutted

2 038

Italy

1 923

Greece

Frozen fillets

1 523

Brazil

Shark

Dried fins

27 354

Hong Kong

Ray *

Frozen wings

2 500 (C&F)

Italy

Source: Subsecretaría de Pesca, except for*
* Source: INFOPESCA, Noticias Comerciales

According to Table 6 the international prices for the meat of these types of shark is very close to those of hake; even higher in some markets.

2.5 Legislation

There are no specific regulations on sharks and rays catches except for those that determine a total allowable catch (TAC).

3 CHILE

3.1 Main species considered

Spanish name

English name

Latin name

Tiburón marrajo

Shortfin mako

Isurus oxyrinchus

Azulejo

Blue shark

Prionace glauca

Tollo

Smooth-hound

Mustelus mento

Raya

Skate

Raja spp.

3.2 Catches

Small pelagics are the most abundant resources in the national catch, namely anchovy (Engraulis ringens), horse mackerel (Trachurus murphyi) and sardines (Sardinops sagax and Clupea betincki). There is not any commercially relevant fishing fleet which is dedicated to catching sharks and their related species. Landings of these species result from incidental catches, mostly as bycatch from sword fishing.

Table 7 Chile: Catches of main shark species 1991-1996 (tonnes)

Species

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

Raya

1 171

1 239

1 971

2 899

2 622

2 679

Marrajo

1 118

702

581

450

475

320

Tollo

937

481

398

588

193

225

Azulejo

212

175

237

33

39

11

Total

3 438

2 597

3 187

3 970

3 329

3 235

Source: Anuario Estadístico, SERNAPESCA

Total catches have remained fairly stable throughout this period. However, there is a diminution in landings of all species except ray. Considering total fisheries landings, the percentages of cartilaginous species are insignificant, as shown in Table 8.

Table 8 Cartilaginous species as a proportion of total landings in Chile

Year

Total Landed (tonnes)

Percentage of sharks and rays

1991

6 166 081

0.055

1992

6 628 365

0.039

1993

6 190 648

0.050

1994

8 021 043

0.049

1995

7 890 242

0.042

1996

7 232 679

0.044

3.3 Industrialisation

The same products can be obtained in Chile as in Argentina but, since the species in Argentina are generally larger, the production of fillets is much lower. Therefore, the most common products are "troncos" (headed-and-gutted) and "rodajas" (steaks). Dried-salted and dehydrated products are almost exclusively fins.

3.4 Markets

3.4.1 Domestic markets

Although there is no up-to-date research on the domestic market for fishery products in Chile, there is a general opinion that shark products scarcely appear in this market place. The reasons for this are the low catches and the easy availability of other higher-valued and preferred species, which are used for sophisticated cooking; one of Chile’s most attractive tourist points. Unlike the neighbouring countries, there is no practice of producing a "national klipfish" from sharks. Fresh fish is the only form in which shark is sold, often with the deceitful labelling as swordfish.

3.4.2 Export markets

Skate wings are exported frozen. Spain, Republic of Korea and France are the main buyers. Shark species (marrajo, azulejo, tollo) are mainly exported as frozen headed-and-gutted and steaks to Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Japan and the United States while the dried fins go to Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan Province of China and Uruguay. There are also some exports of fresh-chilled products to the United States and of salted-dried cuts to other countries in the region: Brazil, Ecuador, and Bolivia.

Table 9 Exports of ray and shark products from Chile

 

Raya

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997
(Jan-Nov)

V

Q

V

Q

V

Q

V

Q

V

Q

2 136

1 420

4 343

2 371

5 420

2 948

4 494

2 278

4 347

1 954

Marrajo

804

240

696

268

1 011

199

634

121

1 147

159

Azulejo

254

42

581

136

162

20

215

41

69

27

Tollo

29

16

23

10

57

27

33

15

---

---

Tiburón-unspecified

332

42

371

61

358

65

456

46

544

38

Total

3 555

1 760

6 014

2 846

7 008

3 259

5 832

2 501

6 107

2 178

Source: IFOP (V = US$ 1 000, Q = tonnes)

Chile’s total fishery products exports amounted to 1 520 775 tonnes worth US$1 771 917 000 in 1996 so exports of shark and ray products represented 0.16% in terms of volume and 0.33% in value.

Prices are very variable and there are big differences between dried shark fin and chilled and frozen products.

Table 10 Examples of average FOB prices for different products during the last six years

Species

Product

US$/tonne

Destination

Marrajo

Frozen

1 867

Spain

1 886

Italy

2 364

USA

Chilled

2 661

USA

Dried fins

37 095

Far East

Tiburón unspecified

Frozen

2 567

Germany

2 708

Spain

Chilled

2 255

USA

Dried fins

37 731

Far East

Azulejo

Frozen

792

Netherlands

541

Germany

1 300

Spain

Dried fins

35 062

Asia

Tollo

Frozen

2 785

New Zealand

1 329

France

1 065

Spain

Raya

Frozen wings

1 913

Republic of Korea

1 856

France

1 398

Spain

Source: IFOP

3.5 Legislation

The Fisheries Under-secretary established maximum quotas by fishing season (decree 557/1997), along with the suspension of new authorisations to industrial vessels (decree 601/1997).

4 MEXICO

4.1 Main species considered

Spanish name

English name

Latin name - genus

Tiburón

Shark

Prionace; Carcharhinus; Isurus; Galeocerdo; Alopias.

Cazón

Smooth-hound/Dogfish

Mustelus; Sphyrna; Rhizoprionodon; Squalus

Raya

Skate

Raja; Gymnura; Dasyatis; Rhinoptera

Manta

Devilfish

Mobula; Manta

The resources that are considered are classified under the denomination "tiburón y cazón". However, rays and related species are considered within the group "escama en general" and thus classified together with some non-cartilaginous species. Therefore, in the list above there are many genera.

4.2 Catches

The main fishery resources in Mexico are tuna, squid, sardine, and shrimp. Sharks and rays are some 3% of the total production, as shown in Table 11.

Table 11 Mexico: Annual catches of shark, smooth hound and rays (live weight, tonnes)

Year

Smooth hound

Rays

Shark

Total

Percentage of total fisheries

1993

13 190

*

23 119

36 309

3.76

1994

11 531

*

23 824

35 355

3.52

1995

11 074

*

21 501

32 575

3.15

1996

11 024

*

22 445

33 469

2.89

1997

7 299

12 701

16 929

36 929

3.06

Source: Dirección de Estadística y Registros Pesqueros *information not available

As mentioned previously, rays are classified together with other fish as "escamas". However, it is very significant that, when catches started to be considered individually, the total figures for cartilaginous fishes remained at the same level and there is a diminution in the group " cazónes y tiburones". All this leads to the conclusion that rays and related species had already been considered within that group.

4.3 Industrialisation

The products obtained are mostly headed-and-gutted, steaks and fillets, which are sold chilled, frozen or dried-salted, depending on their destination. Other products are also utilised: the liver for shark liver oil extraction, residues as the base for shark fishmeal production, the skin is an object of further industrialisation and the dried shark fins are traded in the Oriental markets. Skate wings are also used, applying the same preserving technologies described previously.

During 1996, 11 778 tonnes of raw material of "cazón" and "tiburón" were processed, which resulted in 3 895 tonnes of net weight production. These quantities are broken down as follows:

Process

Raw material

Product

Yield


(tonnes)

(tonnes)

(%)

Frozen

10 823

3 525

32.5

Other processes

955

370

38.7

Total

11 778

3 895

33.0

Source: Anuario Estadístico de Pesca 1996

For the last six years the quantities of raw material (tiburones and cazónes) utilised and the products obtained have remained stable.

Table 12 Mexico: Annual production from cazones and tiburones

Year

Raw material (tonnes)

Net production (tonnes)

Yield (%)

1991

12 170

3 996

28

1992

13 864

4 556

33

1993

14 116

4 644

33

1994

14 218

4 678

33

1995

11 270

3 728

33

1996

11 778

3 895

33

Source: Anuario Estadístico de Pesca 1996

4.4 Markets

4.4.1 Domestic markets

The domestic market uses a large proportion of the landings. The main wholesale market in Mexico is La Nueva Viga. In Table 13 the quantities traded during the last two years are shown.

Table 13 Incoming volumes to La Nueva Viga market (kilogram gross landed weight)

Year

Total

Tiburon

Cazón

Raya

1996

1 657 011

519 273

677 440

460 298

1997

2 592 720

1 196 845

852 571

543 304

Source: Servicio Nacional de Información de Mercados.

The periods of highest consumption are New Year and Easter. Fresh fillets are the most common form consumed, although fillets are offered in a salted dried form as well, as a substitute for imported cod klipfish.

Table 14 Apparent and per-capita domestic seafood consumption during 1996 in Mexico

Species/Usage

Consumption

Apparent (tonnes)

Per capita (kg)

Tiburon and cazón

28 564

0.30

Squid

62 369

0.66

Shrimp

26 124

0.28

Mojarra

91 171

0.97

Oysters

38 901

0.41

Sardine and mackerel

79 806

0.85

Tuna

87 697

0.93

"Escama"

204 814

2.17

Molluscs and crustaceans

28 569

0.30

Other

201 930

2.14

Subtotal direct human consumption

849 945

9.01

Indirect human consumption

231 607

2.46

Total

1 081 552

11.47

Source: Anuario Estadístico de Pesca 1996

4.4.2 Export markets

The USA and Republic of Korea are the main export markets for shark products, which in the official statistics are grouped under the term "escualos". These exports are classified under the forms fresh-chilled and frozen, with no registers for dried and dehydrated, where the shark fins belong.

Table 15 Exports of shark products from Mexico during 1996

Escualos

Value (US$)

Quantity (tonnes)

US$/tonne

Destination

Frozen

7 888

10.42

757

USA

Chilled

874 120

769.00

1 136

USA


1 461

2.70

541

Republic of Korea

Total

883 469

782.12

1 129


Source: Dirección General de Aduanas. SHCP

Using these figures, and taking into account that in 1996 Mexico exported a total of 261 523 tonnes of fishery products worth US$798 073, the exports of shark and ray products represent 0.30% in terms of volume and 0.01% in value.

4.5 Legislation

The National Consultative Committee for Responsible Fishery issued an advertisement which established for an indefinite time a fishing ban on devilfish in an area 12 nautical miles around the Revilla Gigedo archipelago and Guadalupe Islands. That is the only specific regulation in this respect. However, SERMANAP has stopped issuing new fishing licences for shark and smooth hound since 1993. Only renewal of existing permits is allowed.

Rays and related species are considered under the item “Escama in General” and a new specific rule that regulates their exploitation is predicted for this year.

5 PERU

5.1 Main species considered

Spanish name

English name

Latin name

Tiburón marrajo/diamante

Shortfin mako

Isurus oxyrinchus

Tiburón azul

Blue shark

Prionace glauca

Tollo

Smooth-hound

Mustelus whitneyi

Tiburón ballena

Whale shark

Rhiniodon typus

5.2 Catches

Peru is one of the chief fishing nations and has been amongst the first for many years. Its main fishery resources are small pelagic: anchovy (Engraulis ringens), horse mackerel (Trachurus murphyi), mackerel (Scomber japonicus) and sardine (Sardinops sagax). Catches of hake (Merluccius gayi) must also be included due to its increasing volume.

Table 16 shows the yearly catches of sharks and their relation to the total catch. It must be concluded that shark landings are almost insignificant within the general context of the Peruvian fisheries.

Table 16 Shark landings as a percentage of total fisheries in Peru

Year

Total landed (tonnes)

Shark landings (tonnes)

Percentage

1992

7 598 400

2 087

0.027

1993

9 138 100

1 212

0.013

1994

12 168 200

548

0.004

1995

9 022 300

694

0.007

1996

9 585 700

1 566

0.016

Source: Ministerio de Pesquería

5.3 Industrialisation

During the five years under consideration about 70% of shark landings went to fresh-chilled production, 29.4% were frozen and the remaining 0.6% was processed into cured products (dried, salted-dried, etc.) Fresh-chilled products, mainly fillets, are destined for the domestic market. Frozen products are presented mainly as headed-and-gutted, individually-quick-frozen, individually-wrapped-in-plastic products, and they are exported. Salted-dried products are usually fillets and sold on the domestic market.

The processing of other products is also mentioned, for instance shark fin, shark liver oil, teeth and cartilage, but with no relevant registers of their production.

5.4 Markets

5.4.1 Domestic market.

The higher trading share for fresh-chilled products compared with other products demonstrates that the domestic market absorbs most of the shark landings, as frozen products go to export markets. Whole fish and fillets comprise most of the fresh-chilled offers. The inshore towns are the main market place. Cured products are chiefly consumed during Holy Week, which could be the reason for such a low rate of production.

5.4.2 Export markets.

The main buyer for Peruvian shark products is Spain. Until recently there was also a flow of trade toward Italy. The most representative product is frozen headed-and-gutted individually wrapped in plastic bags. The last quotation to the European market was US$2 300/tonne, C&F.

Table 17 Annual exports of shark products from Peru by destination (tonnes)

Destination

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

Spain

36

80

165

186


22

53

United States

15




7



Japan




26

16



Italy





1



Germany







4

Sweden






10

6

Total

51

80

165

212

24

32

63

Source: Ministerio de Pesquería

Taking into account that exports of fishery products averaged 1 690 000 tonnes during the period 1990-1995, it can be concluded that the quantities of shark products exported have been insignificant.

6 COSTA RICA

6.1 Main species considered

Spanish name

English name

Latin name

Commercial group

Tiburón zorro

Thresher shark

Alopias superciliosus

Posta blanca

Tiburón gata

Nurse shark

Ginglymostoma cirratum

Chatarra

Tiburón mamón

Smooth-hound

Mustelus spp

Cazón

Tiburón tigre

Tiger shark

Galeocerdo cuvieri

Posta blanca

Tiburón bonito

Shortfin mako

Isurus oxyrinchus

Mako

Cornuda blanca

Bonnethead

Sphyrna tiburo

Posta blanca

Raya

Skate

Dasyatis longus

Raya (chatarra)

The commercial statistics are orientated to the product's usage.

6.2 Catches

Although Costa Rica has coasts on both oceans, all its fishery resources except Atlantic lobster are caught from the Pacific coast. In terms of value, the top fishery resources in Costa Rica are snappers, mahi-mahi, shrimp and tuna.

Table 18 Costa Rican catches of shark and ray from both oceans (tonnes)

Commercial group

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

Cazón

603

543

837

1 016

1 503

1 620

1 022

Posta

951

818

921

715

881

930

698

Mako

66

152

136

91

80

51

34

Thresher

---

---

240

453

521

508

194

Total shark and ray

1 620

1 513

2 134

2 275

2 985

3 109

1 948

Source: Departamento de Estadística-INCOPESCA

There is a gradual increase in shark and ray landings from 1990 to 1995 followed by a sharp drop. Table 19 shows these landings as a percentage of the total annual catch, which demonstrates that, unlike other countries in the region, the shark and ray catch is worth consideration.

Table 19 Sharks and rays as a percentage of total landings in Costa Rica

Year

Total landings (tonnes)

Percentage of sharks and rays

1990

17 553

9.22

1991

17 905

8.45

1992

18 096

11.79

1993

18 895

12.04

1994

20 849

14.31

1995

27 928

11.13

6.3 Industrialisation

The main product is "posta de tiburón", which, according to the terminology used in the country, represents the fish with its head and fins off. After taking off the main products the cartilage and dried-processed fins can be obtained, but these are of lesser importance. Teeth, skin and liver are not used on an industrial scale.

6.4 Markets

6.4.1 Domestic markets.

There are neither registers nor information in this respect.

6.4.2 Export markets.

Exports of shark products are mostly destined for the USA, Canada and Hong Kong.

Table 20 Some prices of shark exports 1997-1998 (US$/tonne)

Species

Aug 97

Sept 97

Oct 97

Nov 97

Dec 97

Jan 98

Average price

Tiburón azul

2 752

2 737

2 033

2 549

2 430

2 550

2 458

Tiburón zorro

3 770

4 123

3 357

3 750

3 462

3 078

3 590

Tiburón blanco

3 865

3 520

3 069

2 480

---

---

3 233

Posta blanca

---

4 526

---

---

---

---

4 526

Mako

---

---

329

356

---

---

342

Source: Depto. de Mercadeo-INCOPESCA

These prices refer basically to a frozen eviscerated product whose destination is the United States, Canada and Europe. The thresher shark is included among a wide range of fresh-chilled fishery products that Costa Rica exports by-air to the Miami market. For prices of these see Table 21.

Table 21 Extract from INFOPESCA Noticias Comerciales, issue of April 5, 1998

Species

Product

Prices (US$/lb)*

Reference

Destination

Pez zorro
(Alopias vulpinus)

headed-and-gutted, refrigerado

1.54/lb

C&F Miami

USA

Lomo c/piel, refrigerado

2.32/lb

Lomo s/piel, refrigerado

2.42/lb

* 1 lb = 0.45 kg

6.5 Legislation

There are two rules in force:

7 BRAZIL

7.1 Main species considered

Spanish name

English name

Latin name

Cação Anjo

Angel shark

Squatina spp.

Raia

Skate

Raja spp.

Raia Viola

Guitar fish

Rhinobatos horkelli

Caçonete

Smooth-hound

Mustelus spp.

Cação Frango

Vitamin shark

Galeorhinus vitaminicus

Cação Martelo

Hammerhead

Sphyrna spp.

Cação Azul

Blue shark

Prionace glauca

Cação Anequim

White shark

Carcharodon carcharias

Cação raposa

Thresher shark

Alopias superciliosus

Cação panan

Whitetip shark

Carcharhinus longimanus

Cação toninha

Night shark

Carcharhinus signatus

Cação jaguar

Sandbar shark

Carcharhinus plumbeus

Cação cavala

Shortfin mako

Isurus oxyrhinchus

7.2 Catches

Fish species are very numerous in Brazil, due to its very wide coastal areas. The lack of up-to-date national statistics for fisheries is the reason why data are presented in two different tables. Table 22 shows catches of sharks and rays in the south and south-east regions for 1995 and Table 23 shows national catches but for 1994.

Table 22 1995 Catches of sharks and related species off Brazil’s south and south-eastern states (kg)

Species

Rio Grande do Sul

Santa Catarina

Paraná

Sao Paulo

Rio de Janeiro

Total

Cações nei

1 869 577

981 681

11 766

1 348 373

467 973

4 679 370

Cação Anjo

777 624

371 411

259

113 314

4 048

1 266 656

Raia

245 532

139 884

295

31 503

250 448

667 662

Raia Viola

162 151

195 968

1 320

57 721

164 614

581 774

Caçonete

-

359 363

1 489

-

-

360 852

Violinha

348 254

-

-

-

-

348 254

Cação Frango

-

278 206

-

-

-

278 206

Cação Martelo

69326

126 595

2 541

-

-

198 462

Cação Azul

89 875

5 167

-

-

-

95 042

Cação Cinza

67 970

-

-

-

-

67 970

Cação Mangona

17 153

40 914

243

-

-

58 310

Cação Anequim

17 002

30 436

113

-

663

48 214

Cação Mouka

18 020

-

-

-

-

18 020

Cação Bico Doce


17 395

-

-

-

17 395

Cação Cabeça Chata

-

14 314

-

-

200

14 514

Cação Roliço

-

13 363

266


-

13 629

Cação Tintureiro

-

1 469

-

-

670

2 139

Cação Galhudo

-

2

1 113

-

-

1 115

Raia Sapo

-

-

1 016

-

-

1 016

Cação Galha Preta

-

-

-

-

20

20

Total

3 682 484

2 576 168

20 421

1 550 911

888 636

8 718 620

Source: IBAMA

Table 23 1994 Brazilian catches of sharks and rays by region (tonnes)

Region

Sharks

Rays

Total

North

3 515

1 629

5 144

North East

1 710

1 357

3 067

South East

4 882

850

5 732

South

10 102

1 135

11 237

Total

20 209

4 971

25 180

Source: CEPENE

7.3 Industrialisation

Shark landings are highly utilised. Almost 90% of landings are sold as fresh-chilled fish, from simple eviscerated to fillets. Freezing technology is only applied for export. Processing of dried-salted skate and angelfish wings is widespread.

Although imported dried-salted products, namely cod and saithe klipfish, are economically accessible (Brazil is one of the biggest importers of Norwegian cod klipfish), the salted-dried shark fillets are very traditional and enjoy a good demand from the domestic market as well.

7.4 Markets

7.4.1 Domestic market

There is a strong domestic market for shark products, mainly for fresh-chilled products.

Eviscerated products are mainly offered on the wholesale markets in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Table 24 Extract from INFOPESCA Noticias Comerciales, edition of April 20, 1998

Especies

Producto

US$/kg

Mercado

Gatuso
Mustelus schmitti

Entero, refrigerado

1.04

Mayorista São Paulo

Cazón
Galeorhinus vitaminicus

Entero, refrigerado

2.17


Pez ángel
Squatina spp

Entero, refrigerado

1.73




2.56

Mayorista Rio de Janeiro

At the level of the final consumer, the "cação" is among the four most preferred species in the free street markets of Sao Paulo. The other three are seatrout, croaker and hake. In Rio de Janeiro "cação" and "viola" (guitarfish) are commonly sold in street markets, fish shops and supermarkets. As can be seen from Table 25, their prices are very similar to other widely-consumed species:

Table 25 1997 Prices for various fish in Rio de Janeiro (US$/kg)

Species

Street markets

Fish shops

Supermarkets

Grouper

12.38

13.21


Kingclip

14.67

10.09


Hake


3.94

2.42

Seatrout

4.58

8.6

7.24

"Cação"

4.58

5.73

5.03

"Viola"

8.07

10.45

9.08

Source: El mercado de pescados en Rio de Janeiro- INFOPESCA

7.4.2 Export markets

In the past there were some exports of frozen eviscerated, head-off shark to Italy, mainly from plants situated in the city of Rio Grande (in the state of Rio Grande do Sul). At present, due to the intense demand from the domestic market that usually pays better prices than the overseas buyers, exports are not worth consideration.

8 URUGUAY

8.1 Main species considered

Spanish name

English name

Latin name

Moro

Shortfin mako

Isurus oxyrinchus

Tiburón azul

Blue shark

Prionace glauca

Sarda

Sand tiger shark

Eugomphodus taurus

Gatuso

Smooth-hound

Mustelus schmitti

Trompa de cristal

Vitamin shark

Galeorhinus galeus

Galludo

Dogfish

Squalus acanthias

Angelito

Angelshark

Squatina argentina

Raya

Skate

Raja flavirostris

8.2 Catches

The main resources are hake (Merluccius hubbsi), croaker (Micropogon furnieri), seatrout (Cynoscion striatus) and squid (Illex argentinus)

Cartilaginous fishes are caught as a bycatch both from inshore and deep-sea industrial fleets. There is still an artisanal scale exploitation but, as well as being very small, it has been decreasing steadily during the last few years. Their fishing season is limited to a few months of summer and its production is oriented almost exclusively to the production of a "bacalao nacional" (national klipfish).

Table 26 Annual catches of shark and related species in Uruguay (tonnes)

Species

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

Tiburones, cazónes

649

711

814

1 335

1 494

Smooth-hound

343

329

319

286

204

Raya


128

1.032

1 469

2 614

Galludo

54

12

52

138

109

Angelito

94

49

42

35

82

Moro

14

9

2

17

34

Sarda

19

9

22

10

15

Other

1


4

283

615

Total

1 174

1 247

2 287

3 573

5 167

Source: INAPE

The increasing number of tuna longliners that began to operate from 1993-94 explains the steady rise in catches. Total fish catch in 1996 was 123 276 tonnes, so cartilaginous fishes represented 4.19%.

8.3 Industrialisation

During World War II Uruguay exported shark liver oil as a raw material for the production of vitamin A. The chosen species was “Trompa de cristal” but, due to its low reproductive rate, this could not withstand the intense fishing level suffered latterly and the resource is therefore approaching collapse. However, the product has not been exported since 1947 when vitamin A could be produced by synthetic means.

The artisanal processing of "bacalao nacional" has become quite widespread but its consumption is limited to Holy Week, more particularly to Good Friday. Recently the production of salted-dried has been decreasing, from 100 tonnes per season in the past to a current production of only 20 tonnes.

Fresh-chilled shark trading started to develop, mainly in fillets, which compete against traditional species. The development of the frozen hake industry from the 1970s brought the production of frozen headed-and-gutted shark for export to Europe.

In the frame of the agreements between vessel owners and crews, the latter have a right to a determined percentage of the vessel's catches ("la valija") as well as the already dried shark fins that have been collected during the voyage. Practically fifty per cent of these shark fins are sold directly to dealers or intermediaries at the dock, almost always evading the custom controls.

8.4 Markets

8.4.1 Domestic market

The most traded product is the smooth hound fillet (using "gatuso" as a raw material). The consumption of this product is very extensive. It is placed second in the ranking of consumer preferences, following hake fillet, which accounts for 45-65%, and its prices at fish shops, street markets and supermarkets is the same as that for hake (US$2.47/kg). The other way in which it is presented is as chilled and frozen steaks of mako, sand tiger shark and blue shark. However, these are not sold as "shark", but as tuna and or swordfish instead, in a frequent fraud against consumers.

The supply of the salted-dried product ("bacalao nacional"), as mentioned before, has diminished during the last few years. There are two reasons for this trend. As in the rest of the region, the new generations do not maintain the tradition and the genuine Norwegian klipfish is currently cheaper than it used to be. In a shop belonging to a main supermarket chain the national product fetches US$9/kg. The imported product, presumably cod but it could be saithe, costs US$12/kg. With such a little price difference, and this consumption being limited to one day in particular, many consumers choose the imported product.

8.4.2 Export markets.

Skate products have bulked large in exports during 1996. The main destination was Republic of Korea, which bought 2 241 tonnes of frozen skate wings from Uruguay.

Shark exports were mainly oriented to Brazil (see Table 27), with a few shipments to Germany (26 tonnes of cazónes and tiburones), United States and Puerto Rico. It is worthy of note that no substantial exports to Southern European countries (Spain, Italy and Greece) have been reported for many years. These countries used to be strong buyers of frozen headed-and-gutted shark.

Table 27 Exports of shark and ray products to Brazil from Uruguay

Species

Products

Quantity
(tonnes)

Value
(US$)

Price
US$/tonne

Angelito

Whole, fresh-chilled

22

7 738

355

Eviscerated, fresh-chilled

66

31 940

485

Eviscerated, frozen

5

2 374

429

Cazón

Whole, fresh-chilled

38

19 228

500

Eviscerated, fresh-chilled

147

104 360

709

Whole, frozen

5

1 317

243

Eviscerated, frozen

132

137 564

1 044

Headed-and-gutted, frozen

45

60 300

1 340

Fillet, frozen

26

44 476

1 710

Tiburón

Eviscerated, fresh-chilled

12

14 266

1 151

Headed-and-gutted, fresh-chilled

18

20 394

1 100

Whole, frozen

4

3 300

800

Headed-and-gutted, frozen

7

7 836

1 100

Raya

Whole, frozen

13

7 153

550

Total


540

462 246

822

Source: INAPE

9 VENEZUELA

9.1 Main species

Spanish name

English name

Latin name

Tiburón/cazón

Shark

Carcharhinus limbatus, Carcharhinus milberti, Rhizoprionodon lalandii, Rhizoprionodon porosus, Mustelus schmitti

Tiburón carite

Shortfin mako

Isurus oxyrinchus

Tintorera

Tiger shark

Galeocerdo cuvier

Cazón/viuda

Smooth dogfish

Mustelus canis; Mustelus higmani; Mustelus norrisi

Cornúa/pez martillo

Hammerhead

Sphyrna spp

Chola

Guitarfish

Rhinobatos percellens

Raya

Skate

Dasyatis americana; Dasyatis geijskesi

9.2 Catches

The main maritime resources in Venezuela are small pelagics such as sardine (Sardinella aurita), tunas such as albacore (Thunnus alalunga) and skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis) and groundfish such as croakers, snappers and groupers. There is a wide variety of bivalve shellfish with the clam "pepitona" (Arca zebra) being one of the main representatives. Shrimp (genus Penaeus) is the most important amongst crustaceans.

The species that are grouped within the denomination "cazón", represented 2% of maritime catches in 1994 with 6 600 tonnes, while rays contributed 0.6%. The majority of shark and rays catches are obtained by the industrial long-line fleet, as a bycatch of grouper and snapper fishing.

Table 28 Shark and ray catches in Venezuela (tonnes)

Species

1995

1996

Tiburón/cazón

2 090

2 065

Tintorera

24

98

Viuda

182

158

Cazónes in general

5 171

4 657

Rayas

2 450

1 812

Aletas

139

1

Total

10 056

8 791

Source: SARPA

9.3 Industrialisation

"Cazón" and rays both provide the raw material for the production of salted-dried products and, to a lesser extent, for fresh-chilled and frozen products. The processing of skate wings is done on board.

9.4 Markets

9.4.1 Domestic market

The only information available in this respect is focused on the consumption of fish and shellfish as compared to other protein sources, but with no breakdown of the seafood products.

9.4.2 Export markets

The official statistics do not distinguish shark and ray products from other species in the international markets because this item is considered among the code of duty imports for fresh/frozen fish.

10 CONCLUSION

After analysing the situation regarding catches, industrialisation, commercialisation and legislation for cartilaginous fishes in these eight Latin American countries it can be concluded that, although each one presents particular characteristics, there are many similarities between them.

10.1 Main species considered

There are some species or types that appear in the catch statistics of almost every country namely: mako, blue shark, smooth hound, dogfish and rays. There are also some genera that occur frequently even in countries whose coastlines are on different oceans (Carcharhinus, Mustelus, Galeorhinus, Prionace, Isurus, Alopias, Squatina and Raja). The relative position of each one among the volumes landed varies very much from one country to another but, in almost all cases, the flat species (rays, etc.) are the most abundant.

10.2 Catches

In all the studied cases, cartilaginous species are reported as bycatch resulting from industrial-scale fisheries of other target species. This means that the available information in many countries is not very abundant or specific. It is also very difficult to determine the percentages of discards.

The artisanal shark fisheries, which used to be a main way of living for fishermen in many countries, are in the process of disappearing.

Overall, shark landings have remained fairly stable. Some increases (Argentina, Uruguay), oscillations (Chile, Mexico, Costa Rica) and decreases (Peru) have been reported during the last few years. Also, with the exception of Costa Rica and Brazil, the percentages of cartilaginous fishes landed are very low with respect to total fish landings, so they have little significance.

10.3 Industrialisation

The quantity landed is highly utilised. Whole eviscerated, headed-and-gutted and fillets are products with a high yield. Technologies used are very simple and almost the same throughout the region, fresh-chilled, frozen, dried and salted-dried. The sub-products industry, namely teeth, skin, cartilage, fishmeal and fish oil are not of much relevance so far.

10.4 Markets

10.4.1 Domestic markets.

Domestic demand for shark and ray meat is notoriously high in many countries (Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Mexico and Peru). Fresh-chilled fillets and salted-dried cuts are the most preferred. While fillets have their own market niches within the massive consumption sector, the latter are limited to seasonal consumption and as a substitute for imported products. On the other hand, steaks are sold in many of these countries under the name of more expensive products, principally tuna.

10.4.2 Export markets

Exports of shark products are reported for all countries despite the lack of very concrete statistics. There is an extensive range of cuts and presentation forms but whole eviscerated, headed-and-gutted and fillets, both fresh-chilled and frozen are the most common products.

Dried shark fins are the most quoted products. However, information on this aspect is very scarce due to the strong black-markets in their overseas trading.

10.5 Legislation

Regulations aiming to protect these resources are not common in the region, unlike other overexploited resources (small pelagics, groundfish, tuna and cephalopods) and some species considered as bycatch (dolphins and turtles).

Some measures have been taken only very recently and are restricted to the establishment of a TAC (Argentina and Chile), or the suspension of grants for new fishing licences (Chile, Mexico and Costa Rica).

Regarding specific fishing bans; only Mexico has issued a restriction for a species in particular while Costa Rica began to require the whole utilisation of landed sharks.

11 EXPORTERS OF SHARK PRODUCTS FROM LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

11.1 Brazil

FURTADO S.A.
Cx. Postal 1124
Tel: (55 532) 3622548
96200 Rio Grande-RS
Frozen shark

LEAL SANTOS PESCADOS S.A.
Cx. Postal 44
Tel: (55 532) 3325500
96200 Rio Grande-RS
Frozen shark, salted shark

MARES DO SUL EXP. IMP. LTDA
Ana Octavio Correa 184, 2º piso
Tel: (55 11) 214115
11025 Estuario Santos-SP
Fresh-chilled shark, frozen shark

11.2 Colombia

PEZITAL LTDA.
Cecilia García de Forero
Km 4 al Pinal
Tel: (57 222) 25428
Buenaventura
Shark cartilage

11.3 Costa Rica

CENTRAL EXPORTACIONES AGROINDUSTRIAL
Miguel Valverde
Tel: (506) 2843496
Fax: (506) 2768217
San José
Semi- processed shark fin

CORPORACION PROCESADORA CARTIL
Carlos Cantillo
Tel: (506) 6630122
Fax: (506) 6630722
Puntarenas
Dried cartilage

DESARROLLO PESQUERO DE CENTROAMERICA
Rodolfo Alvarado
Tel: (506) 2392591
Fax: (506) 2392591
Heredia
Dried shark fin and cartilage

EXPUN S.A
Héctor Fernandez
Tel: (506) 2255236
Fax: (506) 2539205
San José
Fresh-chilled shark, dried shark fins

INTERTEC S.A.
Tel: (506) 2217831
Fax: (506) 2227055
Puntarenas/San José
Shark fins and dried cartilage

LUIS CHEN MOK
Luis Chen Mok
Tel: (506) 6632751
Fax: (506) 6611957
Puntarenas
Shark fins and dried cartilage

PREMAR
Alexander Chan
Tel: (506) 2264054
Fax: (506) 2278922
Alajuela
Cartilage

PREPARADOS DEL MAR
Yesenia Barrantes
Tel: (506) 2226264
Fax: (506) 2212937
San José
Shark fins

PRODUCTOS DEL MAR TICO
Francisco Arguedas
Tel: (506) 6657565
Fax: (506) 2592526
Puntarenas/San José
Dried shark fins

11.4 Chile

SALMONES ANTARTICA LTDA.
Yuzo Yabuuchi
Freire 007 Delcahue, Castro
Tel: (56 65) 641279
Fax: (56 65) 641202
Chiloé, X Región
Shark

11.5 El Salvador

CALEB DE QUEZADA
33 C.O. bis Nº 924 Col. La Rábida
Tel: (503) 2761928
Fax: (503) 2761928
San Salvador
Dried shark fin and cartilage.

CHARLES LOUIS PINTO
Charles Louis Pinto
Isla los Pinos Pasaje Las Colinas Km 11
Tel: (503) 2808460
Fax: (503) 2808460
San Salvador
Shark fin

FORMOSA
Otto Tang
P.O.Box 01-236
Tel: (503) 2789488
Fax: (503) 2789488
San Salvador
Shark, shark fin and shark skin

JOSE EFRAIN CHONG
José Efraín Chong
33 Av. Sur Nº 911 Col. Cucumacayan
San Salvador
Shark fins, cartilage

MARTIN ALBERTO BELTRAN
Martín Alberto Beltrán 8ª Av. N. Nº 12
Tel: (503) 4412776
Santa Ana
Shark fins


11.6 Guatemala

EXPORTADORES UNIDOS
7º Ave, 16-25, Zona 9
Tel: (502 2) 315348
Guatemala
Shark, shark liver oil

PRODUCTOS VARIOS, S.A. (PROVAR)
7º Av.,14-44, Zon. 9 La Galer. 2º, Loc.Nº 18, 2º P
Tel: (502 2) 312763
Guatemala
Frozen shark

11.7 Mexico

ATLANTIDA DEL SUR S.A. DE C.V.
Calle 59-A Pte.791 B Av. Jacinto Canek
Tel: (52 99) 450704
Mérida, Yucatán
Shark

BAROL
Claudia Naves Bect
Rafaela M. de Romero entre Potosí y Fronteras
Tel: (52 62) 182045
Fax: (52 62) 183416
Hermosillo 83010, Sonora
Shark

FED. REG. DE SOC. COOP. DE LA IND. PES. DE B.C.F.C.L
Blvd. Tte. Azuela S/N Zona Centro
Tel: (52 617) 82718
Ensenada-B.C
Frozen shark

INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE
Ote. 107 Nº 3235 2º piso
Tel: (52 5) 5519218
Fax: (52 5) 7713703
Col. Bondojito México D.F
Shark fins

JESUS PARTIDA CANTU
Central de Abastos B Nº 60 Ej. del Moral
Tel: (52 5) 6940140
Fax: (52 5) 6941301
México 09040, D.F
Shark

ULTRA COLD FOODS S.A. DE C.V.
José Manuel Campillo Martínez
Presa del Fuerte Nº 7 Col. Rec. Hidr.
Tel: (52 5) 8841788
Fax: (52 5) 8841949
Tultitlán Edo. de México
Frozen shark

11.8 Nicaragua

NICARAGUA TRADING S.A.
Jorge Hueso
Las Colinas Segunda Etapa Nº 113
Tel: (505 2) 2760630
Fax: (505 2) 2674021
Managua
Shark fins

HONOR IMPORT EXPORT
Arturo Sam
Via Fernandez de Córdoba
(507) 2619186
(507) 2618916
Shark fins

11.9 Panama

OCEANIC EXPORT CORP.
Luis Prado
Pueblo Nuevo
Tel: (507) 2294034
Fax: (507) 2291064
Panama
Dried shark fins

11.10 Peru

CORPORACION DE PESCA S.A.
Esteban Tellez Mejía
Jr. Jorge Salazar 195
Tel: (51 1) 4715005
Fax: (51 1) 4753720
Lima 13
Frozen shark

I.B.C. CORPORACION DE NEGOCIOS S.A.
Enrique García Abalde
Las Begonias 552 of. 21
Tel: (51 1) 4417588
Fax: (51 1) 4410880
Lima 27
Frozen shark

SOUTH PACIFIC TRADING CO. S.A.
Walter Valdez Leandro
Las Moreras 189 Urb. Camacho
Tel: (51 1) 4361595
Fax: (51 1) 4373568
Lima 12
Frozen shark, dried shark fins

11.11 Trinidad and Tobago

SEAFOOD ENTERPRISES LTD.
Anthony Byer
30 Mc Donald Street, Woorbrook
Tel: (809) 6277668
Fax: (809) 6244088
Port of Spain
Shark

TRI FISH ICE & COLD STORAGE LTD.
Bassart Mohammed
4 Paul Street
Tel: (809) 6684165
Fax: (809) 6683221
Sangre Grande
Shark

11.12 Uruguay

DAR LONG S.A.
Sr. Guey
Mercedes 946 Of. 302
Tel: (598 2) 981146
Fax: (598 2) 905007
Montevideo
Dried shark fins

11.13 Venezuela

FISHBEN C.A.
Calle 67-B Nº 91-11
Tel: (58 61) 73657
Fax: (58 61) 772887
Maracaibo, Edo. Zulia
Dried shark fins

VENCAT S.A.
Av. 4 de Mayo Resd. 4 de Mayo Local 4 PB
Tel: (58 95) 611186
Fax: (58 95) 635034
Porlamar, Nueva Esparta
Shark


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