Short Project: The project will examine emerging supply chains in one of the world’s top shark fishing nations, India. Using data from elasmobranch landings and value chains, this project will piece together the primary drivers of continued elasmobranch fishing in Tamil Nadu, India.
Chennai main harbour.
Photo © Shruthi Kottillil
Although elasmobranch (sharks and rays) trade is booming across the world, the focus has largely been on the role of South East Asia’s demand for shark fins. Increasingly, the IUCN’s Shark Specialist Group and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations have recognised that there are emerging local and global markets for other elasmobranch products, such as meat, skin, squalene etc. This project will examine these emerging supply chains in one of the world’s top shark fishing nations, India. Using data from elasmobranch landings and value chains, this project will piece together the primary drivers of continued elasmobranch fishing, in order to help re-prioritize conservation action to conserve elasmobranchs in this region. The outreach efforts will look to disseminate the results of the study to government authorities and agencies in the form of policy papers and posters. Popular articles on the history of elasmobranch trade, sale and on the results of the study would target the general audience. Locally relevant pamphlets on the declining population of commercially important species to stakeholders would be also be developed.
The project focuses on the analysis of trade and value chains in Tamil Nadu, specifically the main harbour and a small fish landing site (Marina Beach, Nocchi Kuppam) in the city of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Objectives of the project
- Collect data on historical markets, trade and exports using a combination of archival research, literature reviews and key informant interviews with at least 20 authorities involved in record keeping and traders/sellers.
- Gather data on current trade in sharks and rays through at least 60 interviews of fishers who regularly harvest elasmobranchs, and then use snowball sampling to interview at least 30% of traders involved in domestic elasmobranch trade. Additionally, I will interview authorities from the Marine Products Export Development Agency and 30% of exporters and retailers to map out the different types of supply chains.
- Identify and prioritise key drivers of trade in sharks and rays by collecting value chain data through direct observations at landing sites, retail stores and export houses for 10 days a month over 6 months This will help elucidate the meat supply chain from the market that would be going for both local consumption and export through network and value chain analysis.
The project is proceeding and several interviews are currently being conducted. Due to commitments of the project leader at the IUCN Shark Specialist Group, the project started a bit later than planned.
Project Status: in progress sind 2023
Project leader: Shruthi Kottillil
Funding since 2023: approx. CHF 7,000