Fishermen in Indonesia catch an average of 109,000 metric tons of shark per year, more than any other country in the world.
While catching tuna, fishermen routinely snare endangered sharks, such as the hammerhead. Yet the Indonesian government agreed to protect sharks over a decade ago.
In 1999, Indonesia signed the United Nations’ International Plan for Action to conserve sharks. Despite this commitment, fishermen continue to profit from valuable shark fins and meat. The lack of management regulations for most shark species is a huge problem – there are no catch quotas and no fishing bans.
Clearly the Indonesian government should do more to sustain endangered shark populations, before we lose them for good. And it’s not just the sharks who are at risk – sharks play a critical role in maintaining the health of surrounding marine life. We have to hold the Indonesian government accountable for standing by their commitment to conserve and protect these animals.