Volume 72

Bycatch of endangered, threatened and protected species in the coastal artisanal fishery in Suriname

Sys, K; M. Hiwat; H. Van Lavieren
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Date: November, 2019

Pages: 371

Event: Proceedings of the Seventy-Two Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Punta Cana

Country: Dominican Republic


Suriname, located on the northeast coast of South America, is under the influence of the nutrient-rich Amazon River effluents, making its coastal waters very productive, supporting a variety of fish stocks. Whilst fishermen target certain species of marketable fish, there is also substantial bycatch of unwanted species. WWF Guianas has been monitoring for bycatch of endangered, threatened and protected (ETP) species in the coastal artisanal fisheries in the Suriname since 2006. This paper presents the data analysis for the monitoring efforts in 2015-2016. Analysis of these data resulted in landing profiles of target species and bycatch data for a selection of shark, ray and sea turtle species. Extrapolation of these data to the entire coastal artisanal fleet of Suriname, resulted in an estimation of the annual ETP bycatch per fishing technique. Results are alarming; annually, more than 4,000 sea turtles, over 130,000 sharks and almost 130,000 rays are being entangled by the Surinamese coastal artisanal fleet. Moreover, we can assume that the extrapolated data is an underestimation of the real situation especially as there are regular instances of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in Surinamese coastal waters. Based on this study, we can state that various shark, ray and sea turtle species are indeed under pressure from the coastal artisanal fishery in Suriname. A reduction of bycatch of these species therefore is a priority. More continuous monitoring of bycatch in different fisheries and across seasons should be carried out in order to gain a better understanding of the occurrence, distribution and status of the different species caught as bycatch over time. Therefore, ETP species bycatch monitoring remains a priority focus for WWF Guianas and its partners.

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