The pelagic thresher is caught as target and bycatch in commercial and small-scale pelagic longline, purse seine and gillnet fisheries. Most catch is taken as bycatch of industrial pelagic fleets offshore and high-seas waters. The Pelagic Thresher is especially susceptible to fisheries exploitation because its habitat occurs within the range of many largely unregulated and under-reported, small-scale and artisanal gillnet and longline fisheries.
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Generally, there are no data on the population of the Pelagic Thresher sharks. However, the Pelagic thresher sharks (Alopias pelagicus) experienced a decline in population trends, particularly from 2010 – 2014. From the Northwest Pacific, the stock was projected to be reduced by over 34.3% from over 20 years and that the stock is considered overexploited. The species is estimated to be declined both in the Pacific and Indian Oceans with an estimated population reduction of 50-79% over the last three generations.
Source: IUCN Red List
The pelagic thresher shark can live from the surface to the depths of 300 m. Although high-seas longline fisheries catch many species of pelagic sharks, including thresher sharks, little is known about the ecology of many of these species, including their diel behavior migration and movement patterns. This ecological information is important for both management purposes and for understanding the factors influencing the incidental catches of the non-target species in many fisheries fleets. Conservation actions metrics from IUCN red list, Conservation sites, area-based management plan and occurs in at least one protected area are still unknown.
Read more from IUCN Red List
Thresher Shark Project Indonesia
Alor Island, East Nusa Tenggara
Thresher Shark Project Indonesia was founded in 2018 and initially supported by the Conservation Leadership Programme for Asia Pacific Region. Our work aiming to protect endangered pelagic thresher shark (Alopias pelagicus) in Alor Island, Indonesia through investigating the critical habitat, socio-economic importance of the species for the community and conservation outreach to local schools. We combine research and community engagement to inform policy decision for local protection of the species.