Keeping the lead: How to strengthen shark conservation and management policies in Canada
Internationally, shark conservation is now being recognized as a major environmental challenge, but management efforts to halt the overexploitation of sharks have lagged behind. This review examines the state of knowledge for shark species in Canadian waters and analyzes the role of existing management and legislation in ensuring shark conservation. Despite Canada's early leadership, the present management framework reveals major shortcomings with regard to legal protection, bycatch and finning regulations. These problems are not unique to Canada but illustrate broader issues pertaining to the global management of endangered fish species. To strengthen the conservation and management of sharks, this paper recommends a set of key policies and management priorities, which exemplify proper precautionary management of endangered shark species in Canada and could serve as a blueprint for improving conservation efforts internationally. A structured approach for grading progress in shark conservation efforts against best practices is also presented and could be used as a goalpost elsewhere.
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