Fish, Fisheries and Queryomics
Al Arabiya News (Lebanon) reported today there is a growing Lebanese fishery for young sharks. Regulations do not prevent the practice and there a growing market for the fish in the Lebanese coastal city of Tripoli.
The high cost of preferred fish, such as sea bass and red mullet, which sell for about LPD 75,000 per kilogram (US$50, or about $22.5 per pound) has placed them out of reach of many households.
In contrast, meat from shark pups is relatively inexpensive selling for LBP 15,000-20,000 per kilogram (US$10-13). Even at this lower price, fishermen can capture and sell enough fish to make a profit.
The meat from the young sharks is in great demand, and the local fish market can sell up to 100 kb (220 lb) per day when shark is available, which currently is only every four to five days.
Regardless of one’s view of this practice, if the fishery continues it will likely have a large impact on regional shark populations. Adult sharks already are over exploited in many areas and now young (immature) individuals are being exploited. There are few populations of any fish that can long sustain directed fishing at multiple life history stages.
Ouch, says Beel.