The Shark Fisheries of the Maldives - BOBP/MIS/07

Miscellaneous Publications - BOBP/MIS/7

The Shark Fisheries of the Maldives

by
R.C. Anderson
and
Hudha Ahmed


MINISTRY OF FISHERIES AND AGRICULTURE, REPUBLIC OF MALDIVES

FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS

1993

Table of Contents


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© FAO 2004

ABSTRACT

Tuna fishing is the most important fisheries activity in the Maldives. Shark fishing is one of the major secondary fishing activities. A large proportion of Maldivian fishermen fish for shark at least part-time, normally during seasons when the weather is calm and tuna scarce. Most shark products are exported, with export earnings in 1991 totalling MRf 12.1 million.

There are three main shark fisheries. A deepwater vertical longline fishery for Gulper Shark (Kashi miyaru) which yields high-value oil for export. An offshore longline and handline fishery for oceanic shark, which yields fins andmeat for export. And an inshore gillnet, handline and longline fishery for reef and othe’r atoll-associated shark, which also yields fins and meat for export. The deepwater Gulper Shark stocks appear to be heavily fished, and would benefit from some control of fishing effort. The offshore oceanic shark fishery is small, compared to the size of the shark stocks, and could be expanded. The reef shark fisheries would probably run the risk of overfishing if expanded very much more.

Reef shark fisheries are a source of conflict with the important tourism industry. ‘Sharkwatching’ is a major activity among tourist divers. It is roughly estimated that sharkwatching generates US $ 2.3 million per year in direct diving revenue. It is also roughly estimated that a Grey Reef Shark may be worth at least one hundred times more alive at a dive site than dead on a fishing boat. Various recommendations are made for the resolution of conflicts between the tourism industry and shark fishermen. Recommendations on other issues are also made in this review, which was undertaken with the assistance of FAO through their Technical Cooperation Programme (project TCP/MDV/2252).


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TABLE OF CONTENTS


BOBP/MIS/7pdf

A KEY

Abbreviations
Exchange Rates
Units of Measure

1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background
1.2 Development of the shark fisheries

2. METHODS
3. THE SHARK FISHERIES

3.1. Fishing craft
3.2. Fishing methods and gear
3.3. Catches and catch rates
3.4. Preparation of shark products
3.5. Trade
3.6. Prices

4. SHARK FISHERY STATISTICS

4.1. Yields of shark products
4.2. Shark product exports
4.3. Shark catches

5. STATUS OF STOCKS
6. SHARKS AND TOURISM

6.1. Background
6.2. Revenue from shark-watching
6.3. Shark-watching and shark-fishing
6.4. Night fishing

7. INTERACTIONS BETWEEN FISHERIES

7.1. Pelagic shark and tuna-fishing
7.2. Shark gillnetting vs. tuna livebait fishing, diving, and reef-fishing
7.3. Manpower requirements for shark vs. tuna-fishing

8. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

8.1 Pelagic shark fisheries
8.2 Reef shark fisheries and tourism
8.3 Deepwater Gulper Shark fisheries
8.4 Monitoring and assessment of shark resources
8.5 Extension
8.6 Gillnet fishing
8.7 Whale Shark conservation


APPENDICESpdf

I. Number of dhonis reported to be engaged in shark fishing in the islands
II. Maldivian shark names
III. Account of Shark species found in the Maldives

REFERENCESpdf

PUBLICATIONS OF THE BAY OF BENGAL PROGRAMMEpdf