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Strengthening of sustainable use of shark and ray sought

Shark fishery. (Photo: C. Heredia)

Click on the flag for more information about MexicoMEXICO
Thursday, February 12, 2015, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
The Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food(SAGARPA) has published a draft amendment of a norm for responsible fishing of sharks and rays, in order to promote their rational and sustainable use.
According to Regulation 029-2006, the national government also intends to contribute to the conservation and protection of elasmobranchs and other species that are caught incidentally.
The new regulation is mandatory for holders of permits, licenses and authorizations for fishing sharks and rays, as well as for those who capture accidentally.
This draft amendment was adopted at the Fifth Ordinary Session of the National Advisory Committee on Agri-Food Standardization and it will be subject to public consultation for 60 days, to allow interested parties to submit comments.
At present, the capture of sharks and rays is an important fishery for their economic, food and social implications.
In addition, fisheries resources is both a source of jobs in its phases of capture, handling, primary process of production, distribution and marketing of fish products and sub-products, as well as related activities, SAGARPA said in a statement.
Over 90 per cent of shark and ray catch is for domestic consumption, since their meat is low cost. The products of both species exploited are mainly skin, guts and fins.
The shark fishery is comprised of three operating units:
  • Artisanal coastal fishing: Taking place in the two marine coastal grounds, which contributes about 40 per cent of the domestic production;
  • Medium-scale fishing: Carried out in waters off both coasts;
  • Deep-sea fishing: Performed in coastal and ocean waters within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Pacific Ocean.
There is also the artisanal coastal fishery of rays, which contributes about 30 per cent of the national production of elasmobranchs and takes place in the littoral zone, where small boats are utilized.
Of 104 species with registered distribution in federal waters, approximately 39 resources are more frequently used in production. Of these, 12 species are more abundant and belong to the AlopiidaeCarcharhinidaeSquatinidaeSphyrnidae andTriakidae families.
Regarding rays, in federal waters some 85 species are identified, of which 37 are of commercial importance (18 in the Pacific Ocean and 14 in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea).
The most representative are the DasyatidaeMyliobatidaeRhinopteridaeRhinobatidaeand Gymnuridae rays.

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