Many shark stocks, particularly in the Atlantic, have been overfished and need to be rebuilt. Although Canada is not a major shark fishing nation, it once was considered to be one a leader with regard to shark management. Nationally, Canada has developed a National Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management (NPOA) of Sharks and prohibited the 'finning' of sharks at sea. On the Atlantic Coast, Canada was one of the first nations to develop an Integrated Fisheries Management Plan (IFMP) for pelagic sharks.
Despite early leadership, present management of sharks and their relatives reveals several shortcomings. A recent review of Canada’s NPOA has found it to be non-comprehensive, vague, and does not significantly contribute to shark conservation and management. In addition, neither the NPOA nor IFMP for sharks effectively addresses the conservation and management of species that are not of commercial interest. These problems are not unique to Canada, but illustrate the broader issues of global conservation and management of sharks indicating there is still much that needs to be done to safeguard sharks in Atlantic Canada.
The Species At Risk Act provides the legal protection and conservation of wildlife species in Canada. Click here to learn more about endangered species legislation and sharks.
Canada was once considered to be one of the leading nations with regard to shark management. Click here to learn about shark management in Atlantic Canada.
Keeping the Lead: How to strengthen shark conservation and management policies in Canada - Godin and Worm, 2010 PDF
Canada's national plan of action for the conservation and management of sharks PDF
Atlantic pelagic shark integrated fisheries management plan PDF