Involving anglers as key stakeholders in a shark conservation programme, Argentina

Juan Martín Cuevas

Sharks are one of the most important top predators preserving equilibrium in the seas. Argentina's shark populations have dramatically decreasing due to overfishing resulting in several species being listed in the IUCN Red List from Vulnerable to Critically Endangered. Sport fishing is one important contributing cause to shark mortality. Our aim is to involve angling communities as a key stakeholder in this shark conservation programme. We will work in four Marine Protected Areas establishing in each of them trained anglers and fishing guides as ambassadors of our project, while empowering them to conduct tagging activities. Angler clubs will be involved to promote a paradigm shift: old predatory tournaments converted into new, sustainable catch-release activities helping research. We will increase awareness and positive participation from angling communities towards our project in order to decrease the mortality rate of Argentine sharks populations.