An article published by the BBC and authored by Christopher Clark and Shaun Swingler highlights the unseen effects of the world economies on shark populations. Reporting from Congo-Brazzaville, they highlight how global factors, like oil prices, civil war, overfishing, and the COVID-19 pandemic have forced artisanal fisherman and communities to rely on shark meat as a source of protein.
The authors note: “In the port city of Pointe-Noire, a 2019 assessment by wildlife monitoring group Traffic showed that these local, or artisanal, fishermen were often landing 400 to 1,000 sharks and rays, which are closely related to sharks, per day in peak season.”
Fishermen are noting that the catches are increasingly consisting of juvenile individuals, rather than breeding age adults, which suggests that the fishery is under significant pressure.
For those concerned about the plight of sharks in our oceans, the full article makes for thought-provoking reading.