Working towards the conservation of angel sharks based on fisheries research in Peru

Rosa María Lorena Cañedo Apolaya

Peru has a long history of fishing with the highest accumulated shark landings in the Pacific Ocean, and along the eastern Pacific. Angel sharks are among the top six shark species with the highest landings in northern Peru. Two species are likely targeted in fishing activities: the Pacific angel shark (Squatina californica) and the Chilean angel shark (Squatina armata). However, no species-specific information exists and the decreasing trend in landings reported in Peru between 1996 and 2010 may be a sign of overfishing. Also, since 2020, S. armata has been recently up-listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN. Therefore, this study aims to improve our understanding and conservation status of angel sharks in Peruvian coastal waters by describing fisheries' characteristics through shore-based landings monitoring, analysing their reproduction biology, and interviewing local fishers. Activities will be accompanied by workshops directed at local fishers and authorities to involve them in the process and call for their active participation. Project activities will take place at two ports from northern Peru. The main outputs include updated information and description of angel shark fisheries and reproductive biology, which will serve as evidence for government authorities to improve the National Action Plan for Elasmobranchs in Peru.

Watch the project video: