Tagging and Monitoring of Coastal Marine and Freshwater Elasmobranch Population in Sabah. WWF Malaysia Project Report (Shark Protection – Marine Programme; Project Number MA010311-000-GENF/ UMS Project Code GL00138)

B. Mabel Manjaji-Matsumoto, Peter M. Kyne, Jean-Chai Yee, Aarston F. Dickson

Research output: Book/ReportOther report

Abstract

In total, nine rays and two sharks were captured, tagged and released, within the period between August 2015 and October 2016. Of the nine rays tagged, three are the Giant Freshwater Whipray from Lower Kinabatangan, while the other six are coastal marine rays from Pitas, Kudat-Banggi Priority Conservation Area (PCA). One tagged ray from Pitas was recaptured by a local fisherman, but the ray died due to hook injury. During this period, fieldwork to two of the three study sites were implemented – two trips to the Lower Kinabatangan and seven trips to the Kudat-Banggi PCA. An additional site – Lankayan Island, where two sharks were tagged – was surveyed in October 2016. All survey sites showed that the hydrological conditions were within normal range. While all sampling efforts were directed at shallow coastal localities in the study areas, no specific pupping site were identified. Nevertheless, as the specimens caught comprised both juveniles and adults, this suggests that the Lower Kinabatangan and Pitas (within the Kudat-Banggi PCA) are important sanctuaries for coastal marine and freshwater rays. The population size of the euryhaline elasmobranchs appear to be very low, with less than ten individuals of euryhaline elasmobranchs recorded per year in each study site. As a practical conservation and management strategy for sustainable elasmobranch resources in Sabah, we propose a pilot programme that engages and trains fishermen to tag sharks and rays, while encouraging and supporting the use of circle hooks.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationKota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
PublisherWWF-Malaysia Marine Programme
Number of pages50
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2017

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