1. Home
  2. Research
  3. Projects
  4. Improving data collection for Central American shark fisheries
Project C.4.a - Improving data collection for Central American shark fisheries

01 Jan 2018 - 31 Dec 2019

  • Obtain an order-of-magnitude estimate of shark catch for the artisanal fleet. 
  • Design and test sampling protocols for estimating shark species and size composition for the industrial fleet.
There is a critical need for stock assessments of sharks to better inform their management and conservation.
This has not been possible in the EPO to date due to the lack of reliable fishery statistics from all important fisheries.
With funding in 2015-2017 from FAO-GEF in the framework of the Common Oceans project, IATTC staff and an external consultant produced two reports summarizing the characteristics of Central American shark fisheries and compiled available catch information for the region.
As part of the same project, specific data gaps and areas for improvement in data collection were identified • In September 2017, a “Workshop to Develop a Pilot Study for a Shark Fishery Sampling Program in Central America” was convened to bring together sampling design experts, and scientific and technical experts from OSPESCA’s GTEAM, to discuss how to address data deficiencies.
The current project, based on recommendations from the workshop, was funded in 2018 under the Common Oceans tuna project t (GCP/GLO/365/GFF)
Relevance for management
Improving catch data collection will help to fill the current data gaps and thus lead to better management of shark fisheries in the EPO
12 months
Workplan and status
  • Collect data to create a Google Earth map of all landing sites of artisanal shark fisheries in Central America, with associated levels of fishing activity.
  • Using this map to guide sampling of catches at select landing sites in Central America.
  • Compute an order of magnitude estimate of total shark catch for the artisanal fleet from sample data and map information.
  • Conduct a survey of industrial vessel unloading characteristics that can be used to develop catch sampling protocols.
  • Develop and test several sampling designs for shark catch size and sex composition of the industrial fleet.
  • Three quarterly reports
  • Final report describing technical findings
Updated date: 01 May 2019
Progress summary for the reporting period
The staff's quarterly reports to the funding agency (FAO) are available here.