The government is seeking to restrict shark fishing in a way that will not severely hurt fishermen in the country, which has become one of the world’s largest suppliers of shark fins.
The best option may be a quota system, though it would be difficult to enforce, director of fish species conservation from the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry Agus Dermawan said.
Entailed in the quota system, the government would issue a new regulation establishing the status of shark species at the end of this year, he said.
“We are still discussing the regulation with the Indonesian Institute of Sciences [LIPI\, which will determine what four species of sharks should be inserted into appendix II [the table on protected species\,” he said on Friday.
He added that sharks listed in appendix II could still be caught and sold but only in limited number as per the quota set by the government.
The government recently issued a ministerial decree on shark protection status in May this year. The regulation stipulates that whale sharks (rhincodon typus), which can grow to more than 12 meters long and live up to 100 years old, have full protection status.
Agus said this meant killing a whale shark for any reason was strictly prohibited.
Besides whale sharks, other shark species, including the largetooth sawfish (pristis microdon) and the thresher shark (alopias vulpinus), also have protected status under other government regulations. More....