Sharks & Rays

Sharks, rays, and skates are one among WCS six priority flagship species group. Indonesia as one of top contributor to this group global production is believed to be the home for 221 species for this species group. It consists of 114 species of sharks, 101 species of skates and rays, and 6 species of chimaeras. These species inhabit many areas from freshwater to saline environment, coastal to pelagic, and shallow waters to deep seas. Most of the known species are slow growth, reach maturity at large size, and produce small number of juvenile within one reproduction cycle.

Primary threat to this group is overharvested. Increasing global demand for fins, meat, liver oil, gill plates and other products drives the rate of extraction exceeding the rate of recovery. Global demand for sharks fin has been the major factor for the declining of sharks population.

What do we do?

- Monitoring of sharks landing
WCS Indonesia Program started the monitoring for shark landing in 2008 with focus area in Aceh for approximately one year. Then, WCS-IP replicated the shark landing monitoring to Tanjungluar, West Nusa Tenggara Province in 2013 and has been collecting shark landing data until now.

- Establishment of shark protection. We support government officials in law enforcement on protected sharks and rays species through capacity building, verify information and prosecutions on illegal trading, and develop informant network. To increase its protection, we strengthen policy works by supporting the government to develop new regulations and revise protection decrees. WCS-IP identifies and promotes protection of critical habitats (SPAGs, nursery ground) for this group as Marine Protected Area (MPA).

- WCS-IP develops and consults governments both at national and provincial on several options to promote sustainable shark fisheries such as ban of finning, complete carcass landing, minimum size for shark catch, and release of pregnant females. WCS-IP also promotes alternative livelihood options for the shark fishers including sustainable fisheries (eg. squid), lobster and grouper mariculture enterprises and various agriculture businesses.

- WCS-IP assists Indonesian government in regulation development of shark & ray trading. WCS-IP also provides support in implementation of CITES through Presidential Decree No 43 in 1978 on trading of shark & ray.

- WCS-IP conducts outreach activities through socialization on regulations related with sharks and rays, and awareness campaign to protect sharks and rays.