International audienceRecently, declining populations of several pelagic shark species have led to global conservation concerns surrounding this group. As a result, a series of species-specific banning measures have been implemented by Regional Fishery Management Organizations (RFMOs) in charge of tuna fisheries, which include retention bans, finning bans and trading bans. There are both positive and negative aspects to most management measures, but generally, the positive aspects outweigh the negatives, ensuring the measure is beneficial to the resource and its users in the long term. Banning measures are a good first step towards the conservation of pelagic shark species, especially since they improve conservation awareness among fishers, managers and the public. Measures that impose total bans, however, can lead to negative impacts that may jeopardize the populations they were intended to protect. The majority of pelagic shark catches are incidental and most sharks die before they reach the vessel or after they are released. The legislation set out by RFMOs only prevents retention but not the actual capture or the mortality that may occur as a result. Managers should be fully aware that the development and implementation of mitigation measures are critical for a more effective conservation strategy
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