Overfishing is a major threat to the world’s 1,200+ species of sharks and rays, and many elasmobranch populations are in decline. Spatial protection in combination with other forms of management is a potent but underutilized tool for protecting them. WWF and James Cook University recently produced A Practical Guide to the Effective Design and Management of MPAs for Sharks and Rays following an extensive review of the effectiveness of existing MPAs for sharks and elasmobranch movement studies. The guide covers the use of spatial protection in coastal and offshore fisheries to reduce fisheries mortality of sharks to sustainable levels and to recover depleted populations. It is targeted at fisheries managers, academics, and NGOs alike. Dr Andy Cornish, leader of WWF’s global shark program and co-author of the MPA guide, will introduce the tool and interactive case studies as well as a companion guide, the Rapid Assessment Toolkit for Sharks and Rays.
Co-sponsors: OCTO (OpenChannels, The Skimmer, MPA News) and the EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by OCTO and NatureServe)