Sharks in the Philipines: Shark Fishing

Stamps Howard,
Kala Mulqueeny



The Philippine elasmobranch fisheries are reported to have landed only about 300 metric tons in the 1950s. Within a 20-year period, there was a yearly catch of about 500 metric tons. After the 1970s, it was 4,821 metric tons/year. It reached a 6-year high between 1986-1991 at an average of 18,094 metric tons/year. From 1947-1991, the Philippine elasmobranch catches account for 1.44% of the worldwide elasmobranch catch and comprised only 0.8% of the total national fisheries production.

The statistics do not show segregation of specific species, just “sharks, rays, skates.” Species-specific fishery assessment is usually absent, making recommendations doubly difficult. Still, the studies show that breakdown falls roughly evenly between sharks and rays (Batoids):

Production data for landing trends of sharks and rays from 1976-2006: The trend generally increased in the first 10 and 20 years at an average rate of 10,533 metric tons/year and 14,662 metric tons/year, respectively. It declined after at a rate of 5,341 metric tons/year in the next 39 years, suggesting collapsing fisheries (p. 34).

Sharks

The Philippines is known as the center of marine biodiversity, having 2/3s of the known marine species in the Pacific living in its costal waters. Sharks, as predators of the sea, play a vital role in regulating the ecological balance, particularly the health of important commercial fish species, population balance, and protection of coral reefs. As such, our country plays a crucial role in protecting marine species.

Endangerment

Perhaps the best overview of the situation can be found in

Senate Bill 2616

which has been pending in the Philippine senate since 2010:


Shark Table of Contents