First workshop identifies 73 candidate Important Shark and Ray Areas in Central and South America Pacific Region
From | Shark News Issue 07
Written by | Chelsea Stein
«History was made last October when the Important Shark and Ray Areas (ISRA) workshop was held in Bogota, Colombia – the first event of its kind in the world of sharks, rays, and chimaeras. For one week, 55 scientists and experts came together to identify and map critical habitats for sharks, rays, and chimaeras, specifically in the Central and South American Pacific region – from Baja California in Mexico to the southern tip of Chile. "Our vision is a world where sharks, rays, and chimaeras are valued and managed sustainably," Dr Rima Jabado, IUCN Species Survival Commission Shark Specialist Group (SSG) chair and organizer of the event, said. Many of the attendees were SSG members from its South America and Central America, and the Caribbean regions. Still, some represented other groups, task forces, and governmental units, which allowed for a holistic conversation. "We know that knowledge enables action, so we tried also to bring together experts from outside the SSG to participate in this event and inform the process."
The workshop's efforts were centred around the goal of boosting conservation efforts for sharks through the delineation of critical habitats. This expert-driven process may have been overlooked in other marine conservation efforts in the past. The process has been modelled after the Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMA), an initiative that has been working since 2016 to delineate critical habitats for marine mammals globally.»