WCS-India’s Marine Conservation Team attend a consultative workshop on elasmobranchs of India

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Posted in: From WCS-India

ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) organized a ‘Consultative workshop on threatened and protected elasmobranchs of India: Conservation needs and policy needs’ between the 4th and 6th of February, 2020, at Kochi, India.


This workshop was attended by representatives of Governmental Organisations, including Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), Zoological Society of India (ZSI) and Fisheries Survey of India (FSI), and representatives from Non-Governmental Organisations and Universities, including Ashoka University, Kerala University, Dakshin Foundation, Nature Conservation Foundation, Wildlife Conservation Society-India (WCS-India), and independent researchers.

Zoya Tyabji, project associate, Marine Conservation Program, and a researcher working on shark and ray conservation issues for the past four years, and Dr. Vardhan Patankar, program head, Marine Conservation Program, represented WCS-India during this workshop.

The workshop was chaired by Dr. Gopalakrishnan, director, CMFRI and led by Dr. P. U. Zacharia principal scientist and head-in-charge, Demersal Fisheries Division, CMFRI and Dr. E. Vivekanandan principal scientist, retired, CMFRI. Dr. Akhilesh K.V., scientist, CMFRI and Dr. Bineesh K.K. who are members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Shark Specialist Group, were other important attendees of the consultative workshop.

During the three-day workshop, the current status of elasmobranchs (sharks and rays) in India; role of organizations involved in elasmobranch research, conservation and management in India; necessary amendments to the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 (WLPA); conservation opportunities and barriers towards effective management and conservation of elasmobranchs in India was discussed in the form of group discussions.

On the last day of the event, a stakeholder meeting was held with fishers involved in elasmobranch fishing. Concerns of the fishers was heard and ways forward for conservation of elasmobranchs was discussed in detail.

After three days of fruitful group and panel discussions, and productive interactions, a formation of a network of elasmobranch group and a technical report listing the discussed recommendations was tabled. Additionally, a total of ten recommendations listed by the attendees, led by CMFRI will be submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change in support of amending the WLPA.


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