SHARK FISHERIES EXPLOITATION, TRADE, CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT IN THE BAY OF BENGAL OF BANGLADESH REGION
Authors: Roy Bikram Jit, Nripendra Kumar Singha, S.M.Hasan Ali, Md. Gaziur Rhaman, Md. Fukrul Alam
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The study was conducted during July, 2003 to June, 2013 about landing volumes of shark fishery (sharks and rays) in artisanal and industrial fishing sector only in group- wise not in species wise. In these periods, in artisanal fisheries gill nets (shark nets), set bag nets, long lines and trammel nets exploiting data were analyzed. But from 2012-13 periods in industrial fisheries harvesting data of sharks and rays by trawl fishing were started to record keeping in group wise. During 2012-13 total sharks and rays landing volume contributes only 0.85% (5017 MT) of total the marine fish production of Bangladesh.
During 2010-11 to 2012-13 no sharks and rays product items had been traded from Bangladesh due to international market ban But from 2003-04 to 2009-10 period sharks and rays product with fish maws export to the Myanmar, India, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, USA and other countries. Dried and iced sliced meat of shark and rays, its sun-dried hide, bones, fins, tails, teeth and shark liver oil all are sold for local consumers, but only sets of fins (2 pectoral, 2 pelvic, 1 dorsal, 2 anal and 1 caudal fin) and skins were exporting to the foreign markets, which has been stopped now. In the year 2009-10 total 955 MT of sharks and rays product (with fish maws) were exporting and earning (app.) USD 1.60 million. For the conservation and management of shark fishery need National Plan of Action, which exploiting in the MSY and help to banning of critically endangered sharks and rays species. Appropriate law in the Fish Act (at present Fish Act has no forms of restriction for harvesting sharks, while Forestry Act restricts it in Sundarbans area) for sustainable harvesting and conservation of the elasmobranchs. Such law should include how many boats (motorized- and non-motorized) and industrial trawlers could be allowed to harvest sharks from which area, in which season and the allowable limit of harvests; in every case proper ways of fishing methods should strictly be followed. Coastal areas around Saint Martin’s Island and Sundarbans proposed by the Bay of Bengal should be declared as Marine Protected Area as most sharks use these areas as their nursing grounds.