Sharks and Rays
Population of sharks and rays have globally declined sharply in the last several decades. Sharks are long-lived animals that have slow growth rates, late maturation, and low fecundity rates. These characteristics make them particularly vulnerable to over-exploitation. There is little information available regarding shark fisheries or shark populations in the Southeast Pacific, but worldwide, the FAO estimates an annual shark take of 170,000 metric tons. In an important step in 2013, CITES approved stronger protective status for a number of shark species, some of which are regularly fished in Peru.
The Pro Delphinus Shark Program collects critical baseline information on the small-scale gillnet and longline shark fisheries in Peru. Our researchers gather data on the species of sharks captured and collect samples for genetic analyses. This data is giving us a better understanding of the impacts these fisheries are having on shark populations. Furthermore, we are working on the Innóvate Perú project "Evaluation of the temporal and spatial variability of trophic ecology of the main species of elasmobranchs in northern Peru."