5 Nov 2012

Measures needed to halt declining Pacific shark populations

9:13 am on 5 November 2012

A US based shark conservation group says its not surprised by the findings of a study revealing there is an alarming decline in Pacific shark populations.

The comprehensive assessment by Dr Shelley Clark and a team from the SPC found a decrease in Pacific shark numbers.

The research shows significant declines in catch rates for blue, mako, and oceanic whitetip sharks, as well as declining average sizes of oceanic whitetip and silky sharks.

The President of Shark Advocates International, Sonja Fordham, says she wasn't surprised by the research given the high level of fishing going on.

She says sharks are particularly vulnerable to overfishing.

"They tend to grow slowly and mature late and have few young. We need to prevent finning it's a very wasteful practise and the public is strongly against it but also compliment that with limits on the catches of sharks that are allowed and protections for particularly threatened or endangered species."