protecting our sharks rays skates and sawfishes
Environment Tobago has been talking with the PEW Charitable Trust about the dismal outlook for the Caribbean shark population. And PEW should know, they've been actively involved with; shark conservation, tuna, forage fish, penguins and other species of marine life, as well as the (ocean) habitat these species rely upon for food and shelter. According to their website, PEW's work focusses "primarily on halting overfishing and illegal fishing, creating marine reserves, and reforming ocean governance". If all goes well, in the near future PEW may assist Trinidad and Tobago's shark sensitive groups to bring about positive changes in legislation (or enforcement), create 'shark safe' zones (as in safe for sharks, rays and chimaera ) to go about their business without threat from fishermen and environmentally irresponsible development.
Part of the Asian fisherfleet in Caribbean waters. The desired outcome of the PEW/ET talks in the short term is to achieve a platform for discussion and public education of the value of these 'interest species'. At this time, although it may not be common knowledge, Trinidad plays hosts a very large Asian fleet whose target catch include more than just (tonnes) of yellowfin tuna. Sadly though, there are other agents of destruction affecting T&T sharks (and as its rays skates and sawfishes).For your information on these matters the Secretariat at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has published a brief Protecting_Sharks_Enforcing_CITES_A_Global_Effort which clarifies the threat to sharks (and rays, skates, and sawfishes - lest we forget).
And ... if you're keen on having sharks, rays and skatefish around in the longterm and want to get involved in this aspect of ET's work, please contact us.