Fact sheet – Climatology and Climatic Variability of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden

Fact sheet – Identification and Assessment of Shark Species in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden

Title of the course
Training workshop on Identification and assessment of Shark Species in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden
The biological and ecological profile of elasmobranches makes them highly vulnerable to over-fishing. Most sharks are long lived, with comparatively slow growth and late age of first sexual maturity (ranging between 3 and 35 years in different species). This, together with their low fecundity confers sharks with very low reproductive potential compared to other marine fauna. Consequently, the resilience of elasmobranch stocks is comparatively very low. At the ecosystem level, the top predator niche occupied by sharks renders them a crucial role as regulators of other species densities and custodians of marine ecosystem balance. Evidently, over-fishing of sharks causes severe impacts on marine ecosystem. Some findings indicate the cascading effects of the loss of apex predatory sharks, which include some serious consequential impacts such as decline of shellfish and coral bleaching.
The world shark fishing has been steadily increasing since 1950s. In the past two decades, however, the pressure on shark resources has rapidly magnified with the concomitant increase in the shark-fin trade. The Red Sea shark stocks are exposed to over-fishing as indicated by the reported declines in captures and the disproportionate abundance of smaller sized individuals in the catches.
PERSGA has undertaken several steps addressing conservation of elasmobranches through SAP (1998-2003), including preparation of a regional shark identification guide, organizing training workshops on shark taxonomy and stock assessment, and drawing up recommendations for management and monitoring. Such actins were in concurrence with the international efforts (particularly the IPOA-sharks developed by FAO). More recently PERSGA LMR has initiated the Regional Shark Assessment Program (RSAP) since 2009, the major aim of which is to launch and sustain a regular periodic assessment of the status of sharks and their management in the region, in order to assist effective management policy and identify cost effective strategies; ensuring sustainability and strengthening regional cooperation.
Major activities accomplished by the RSAP in 2009 has included, development and distribution of Shark Assessment Questionnaire, collection of data and information on current shark status in the countries, and holding a Regional Meeting that has come with several recommendations regarding shark management in the region, and the RSAP work-plan. Based on this meeting the RSAP activities for 2010 were planned, which includes development of the regional status report and action plan, organizing a training workshop on shark species identification and assessment, and conducting a study on reduction of incidental and by-catch capture of shark, and undertaking assessment of shark critical habitats in the region.
The main objective of the workshop is to train specialist in the region on the identification and assessment of shark species in the region, with the aim of improving the quality of data collection and monitoring, considering species compositions and weights in the catches
The workshop also aims at enhancing regional cooperation, sharing knowledge and experiences in assessment and management of sharks in the region
Participants in this workshop shall include national officials responsible for marine fisheries statistics and management.
The total expected number for this course is not to exceed 25 participants.
Date and Duration
The duration of the workshop will be four working days, and it will be conducted during December 12-15, 2010.
Mukalaa, Republic of Yemen
The Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (PERSGA) in collaboration with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
The training language will be English. Arabic will be used as an auxiliary medium where needed
Training Materials/References
Details to be provided at a later stage
Instructors/Keynote speakers
Dr. Fareed Krupp, Marine fish taxonomist and Head Ichthyology Department at Senckenberg Institute and Museum, Frankfurt, Germany