Artisanal Shark Trade in the Republic of the Congo

Congolese artisanal fishers are increasingly turning to shark fishing because of increased scarcity of other stocks over fished by industrial fisheries: urgent legislative and management improvements are needed to prevent a collapse of shark fishing and protect local livelihoods finds a new TRAFFIC report. International measures to protect sharks threatened by over exploitation are impaired by limited capacities of important shark catching countries to ensure sustainable and legal shark fishing and trade. The Republic of the Congo was the fourth largest catcher of hammerheads globally between 2000 and 2017, and has a thriving artisanal fishing sector landing at least 15 sharks and rays species listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). As such it has been identified by a United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) study on CITES shark listings as a priority country where improved legislative and management capacities will have the greatest positive influence on the sustainable use of shark and ray products.