Colombia allows limited shark and stingray fishing


Colombia is allowing coastal fishers greater leeway to land certain shark and stingray species as bycatch. (Photo by MarViva Foundation)

Colombia’s decision to relax a restriction so coastal communities can legally fish 15 species of shark and stingray has divided environmentalists and local communities over how to best protect endangered fish populations while respecting traditional ways of life. In January, Colombia partially lifted a ban on shark and stingray fishing that poor coastal communities had criticized on grounds that it criminalized their livelihoods. Along the Pacific Coast, Afro-Colombian communities are known to consume smoked shark and stingray meat and sell it in food markets, a custom prohibited under the 2021 ban. Responding to community complaints about the three-year-old ban, the Agriculture Ministry on Jan. 24 approved a measure allowing 11 shark and four stingray species to be landed as “bycatch,” which means they have been captured accidentally in the course of catching other, unrestricted fish species. Nine of the shark species and all four stingray species are... [Log in to read more]

Would you like to Subscribe?