International Plan of Action for Conservation and Management of Sharks

National and Regional Plans of Action

A comprehensive review of the implementation of the IPOA Sharks by FAO was concluded in 2012. It focused on the 26 top shark-fishing countries, areas and territories as well as 10 RFMOs determined as those reporting at least 1 percent of global shark catches during the decade from 2000 to 2009. These 26 countries, areas and territories were responsible for 84% of the global shark catches reported to FAO from 2000 to 2009 and the top seven alone were responsible for over half of the global reported shark catches.

Rank of top 26 shark fishing nations

The review showed that more than two third (18) of the 26 top shark-fishing countries, areas and territories already have a NPOA Sharks in place and that five more are in the process of developing one. This means that only three (12%) of these countries, areas and territories have not yet seriously addressed the conservation and management of their shark populations. The main problems hindering a successful implementation of the IPOA Sharks are linked to problems with fisheries management in general, such as insitutional weaknesses, lack of trained personnel, and deficits in fisheries research and MCS.

In addition there exist a number of Regional Plans of Action for the conservation and management of sharks (RPOA-Sharks). Examples for such RPOA-Sharks are:

  • European Union Plan of Action (EUPOA Sharks) adopted by the EC in February 2009
  • UNEP/IUCN Action Plan for the Conservation of Chondrichthyes in the Mediterranean Sea (2003)
  • CPPS Regional Plan of Action for the Conservation of Sharks, Rays and Chimeras in the South East Pacific (2010)
  • Shark finning ban by the Central American Integration System (SICA, 2012)
  • Central American Fisheries and Aquaculture Organization (OSPESCA) Regional Plan of Action on shark conservation (Plan de Acción Regional para la Ordenación Conservación de los Tiburones en Centroamérica - PAR-TIBURON) (2011)
  • Pacific Island RPOA (2009, collaborative effort by the Pacific Island Forum Fisheries Agency, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme, Secretariat of the Pacific Community and WCPFC)
  • CSRP and International Foundation for the Banc d’ Arguin subregional Plan of Action on the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Shark Populations in West Africa