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A Synergistic Approach to the Conservation of and Management of Sharks in the Eastern Pacific Ocean using Science, Economics, and Policy

  • Author(s): Dombrow, Crystal
  • et al.
Abstract

Fishing pressure is commonly cited as the greatest threat to the survival of shark populations. While many peer-reviewed studies suggest conservation and management approaches using science, economics, or policy, the three perspectives have not yet been considered together. This study combines these subjects with a focus on the eastern Pacific Ocean. To do so, the author reviewed existing scientific, economics, and policy literature and spoke with various experts to determine the most appropriate management approaches and priorities. International law that applies to shark stocks in the eastern Pacific Ocean is summarized. The status of shark stocks, species of priority, data quality, and stock assessment science are analyzed next. Key biological and ecological traits to consider for the management of data poor shark species are discussed. International legal compliance and enforcement are investigated. Market-based instruments, direct regulation, and intrinsic motivation are reviewed as possible policy options. Transfer effects, IUU fishing, cryptic fishing mortality, the role of tuna fishery management organizations, and managing sharks as commercially important fish stocks are also discussed. Finally, the necessary steps and components in order to draft a new treaty to conserve and manage sharks in the eastern Pacific Ocean are outlined. A treaty will allow for centralized research and management across fisheries in the high seas. Indeed, the resulting framework combining science, economics, and policy can be used to create this legal instrument. Recommendations for management actions and strategies to strengthen existing policy, compliance, and implementation conclude this study.

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