Stop shark fishing in Peru

  • By: Mundo Azul
  • Target: Peruvian Vice-Minister of Fisheries

According to official landing statistics, the number of sharks being fished in Peru has decreased steadily during the last 20 years. Government sources admit that most sharks landed are undersized juveniles. Both facts are strong indicators for unsustainable overfishing.


Read more about shark conservation in Peru at: http://mundoazul.org/habitats-species/save-the-sharks/ 

Similar facts we can observe all around the world. The numbers of some shark species have dropped as much as 80% over the last 50 years. Populations of other shark species have fallen by over 90%. Since 1972 the number of blacktip sharks has fallen by 93%, tiger sharks by 97% and bull sharks, dusky sharks and smooth hammerheads by 99%.


The consequences of the decline in shark populations on ocean life are immense. The large shark species are “apex” predators, they are ecological stabilizers, once they are gone, environmental collapse is likely. For example along the US East Coast where large sharks such as black tip and tiger sharks have been virtually eliminated, there have been declines in shellfish numbers and a reduction in water quality (shellfish filter sea water). Populations of small sharks, rays and skates have increased rapidly, consuming shellfish at an unsustainable rate. If you remove apex predators from an ecosystem the result is the same as removing the foundations from a building – total collapse.

  • Shark fishing in Peru is largely unmonitored.
  • Minimum catch sizes for sharks are not enforced as shown by a high percentage of undersized sharks being landed.

Therefore we can conclude that shark fishing in Peru is de facto unmanaged.

  • There are no biological population studies nor fisheries related population studies for sharks in Peruvian waters available.
  • In 2006 the Peruvian Vice Ministry of Fisheries and the Peruvian fisheries research institute IMARPE announced that they would elaborate a National Action Plan for the Management and Conservation of Sharks. In 2010 – four years later – there is still no sign of such a plan.

All this together is a recipe for species extinction.


Therefore we are asking the Peruvian Vice-Ministry of Fisheries to enact an unlimited moratorium on commercial shark fisheries in Peruvian waters till conclusive population studies are available and a science based sustainable fisheries management scheme has been approved, that guarantees the conservation of the species.

We the undersigned are concerned about the lack of management of the Peruvian shark fisheries that has led to a dangerous decline in shark numbers. Shark fishing in Peru is largely unmonitored. Minimum catch sizes for sharks are not enforced as shown by a high percentage of undersized sharks being landed. Therefore we can conclude that shark fishing in Peru is de facto unmanaged.

There are no biological population studies nor fisheries related population studies for sharks in Peruvian waters available. In 2006 the elaboration of a National Action Plan for the Management and Conservation of Sharks was announced. In 2010 %u2013 four years later %u2013 there is still no sign of such a plan. All this together is a recipe for species extinction.

In fact according to official landing statistics, the number of sharks being fished in Peru has decreased steadily during the last 20 years. The Peruvian fisheries institute IMARPE published that most sharks landed are undersized juveniles. Both facts are strong indicators for unsustainable overfishing.

The consequences of the decline in shark populations on ocean life are immense. The large shark species are %u201Capex%u201D predators, they are ecological stabilizers, once they are gone, environmental collapse is likely.

We are therefore urging you to enact an unlimited moratorium on commercial shark fisheries in Peruvian waters till conclusive population studies are available and a science based sustainable fisheries management scheme has been approved, that guarantees the conservation of the species.

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