Trends in shark bycach research:current status and research needs

Authors: 

Molina, J.M. and Cooke, S.J.

Year: 

2012

Journal/Publisher Name: 

Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries

Volume (Issue #): 

22

Page #s: 

719-737

Contact information: 

Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas ichtyostega@gmail.com
Summary: 

A structured literature review of 103 papers was conducted to characterize trends in shark bycatch research.  Gear modifications, such as hook size/type and net size, were the most commonly evaluated technique to reduce shark bycatch.  Early studies tended to focus on trawl fisheries while more current studies focus on longline fisheries, particularly tuna fisheries. Overall, longline fishery studies made up the majority (44.6%) of published papers and typically were aimed at reducing bycatch.  Later studies also tended to explore potential solutions to bycatch issues.  In terms of trawl fisheries, net size and mesh design were most commonly suggested to reduce shark bycatch, while in longline fisheries, hooks size and type were the most common options suggested. The majority of published papers (40%) focus on the North Atlantic Ocean followed by the North Pacific Ocean (14.4%).  The lack of information on post-release survivorship of sharks made it difficult for the authors to quantify the true amount of bycatch or to recommend handling techniques to fishermen.