|mako, mackerel shark, shortfin mako|
Mako shark is a worst choice seafood and should be avoided. There is no alternative.
Mako sharks, like most shark species, are slow growing and highly vulnerable to overfishing. Mako are a highly migratory species, taken in numbers in New Zealand’s tuna longline fisheries, mainly in the West and East Coast of the North Island from the Bay of Plenty north.
Mako sharks are caught as bycatch in tuna surface longline fisheries, such as bigeye and southern bluefin tuna. There are concerns over the limited research on mako sharks, lack of a stock assessment in New Zealand and in the South Pacific, and uncertainty about the state of the stocks. The high number of juveniles in the catch is also of concern, as is the bycatch of other sharks, seabirds and fur seals. Where mako sharks are caught using bottom fishing methods, impacts on the seafloor and associated communities are also of concern. Mako is assessed by the IUCN Red List as a vulnerable threatened species, and is listed on Appendix II of the Convention on Migratory Species. The bigeye target tuna longline fishery captures turtles, including leatherback, a vulnerable threatened species. It also has an estimated capture of 593 seabirds a year including vulnerable threatened Gibson’s and Antipodean albatross, and near-threatened southern Buller’s albatross. An estimated 623 seabirds a year are caught in the southern bluefin tuna target fishery, including white-capped albatross and Buller’s albatross. Whilst there is no management plan for mako sharks, in 2013 a revised New Zealand National Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks was developed. This included a requirement that fins and bodies must be returned from the sea together from 1 October 2014 but also allows fish to be discarded.
Not certified under any scheme.
he primary value is in the highly priced fins (and tails), which are exported to East Asian markets. Shark fin export value for all species average $40/kg. Total shark, ray and skates exports in 2015 was $31.33m, of which only $373,000 was shark fins, mainly (95%) exported to Singapore. New Zealand is amongst the top 20 global exporters of shark product.
No regional or fishing method difference.
|Population size:||Unknown – South Pacific migratory population. There is no stock assessment.|
|Annual catch limit:||Limit was reduced to 200 tonnes (from 406 tonnes) from 1 October 2012.|
|Recorded catch:||Latest reported annual landings of 44 tonnes in 2013-14, the lowest reported since the 1990s. Most mako caught (100% of females and 85.1% of males) are immature.|
|The Ministry of Primary Industries assessment plenary report includes:||“There have been no stock assessments of mako sharks in New Zealand or elsewhere in the world. No estimates of yield are possible with the currently available data…” “Conclusive determinations of stock status will require regional (i.e. South Pacific) stock assessments.” (MPI 2015, p203-208).|
|Distribution:||Mako sharks are highly migratory oceanic fish that often visit coastal areas around northern New Zealand. They are caught by longline vessels on the west coast of the North Island and East Coast.|
|Maximum age (years):||Males 29 years, females 28 years|
|Age at sexual maturity:||Males 29 years, females 28 years|
|Reproductive output:||Very Low – 4-18 pups (12 average) with about 18 month gestation, fecundity of 4 per year.|
|Age exploited:||2+ (much of the catch is immature).|
|Ability to recover:||Low to very low|
|Fishing method(s):||Primarily pelagic longlining around the North Island, with a smaller catch caught by bottom longliners and trawlers. 55% of the mako shark catch was in the bigeye tuna longline fishery and 18% in the southern bluefin tuna fishery. The rest was caught mainly by vessels targeting hoki, swordfish and albacore tuna.|
|Habitat damage:||No seabed damage from longline, but damage when caught by bottom trawling, which alters seafloor community structure and function, and snags or damages a range of vulnerable species.|
|Habitat of particular significance:||Hasn’t been defined in New Zealand.|
|Bycatch:||Other sharks are caught in the longline fishery. Shark species caught in the longline fishery include porbeagle, blue, deepwater dogfish and thresher shark. Sharks combined make up over 90% of the bycatch by number. Porbeagle, blue and thresher sharks are listed as vulnerable threatened species by the IUCN.|
|Ecological effects:||Removal of large predator species as bycatch in the longline fishery can have considerable ecological implications. The practice of shark finning without returning shark bodies has now been prohibited.|
|Bycatch:||Mako sharks are primarily caught in the tuna longline fisheries that catch seabirds, turtles and New Zealand fur seals. Some of these longline fisheries also catch vulnerable turtles at an observed rate of about one per year but, given level of observer coverage, actual numbers could be 10-40 times this. It is also estimated that four New Zealand fur seal captures occur per year (based on the last 5 years). In the bigeye tuna fishery it is estimated that 593 seabirds a year, including vulnerable threatened Gibson’s and Antipodean albatross, and near-threatened southern Buller’s albatross (includes cryptic mortality) are caught. In the southern bluefin tuna fishery an estimated 623 seabirds are caught. This fishery also catches an estimated 100 fur seals a year (based on the last 5 years).|
|Management component:||Single species and is likely to be part of a South-West Pacific stock.|
|Quota Management Species:||Yes in 2004.|
|Management plan:||Highly Migratory Species management plan for 2010-15 is out of date, and has yet to be reviewed and replaced. There is no operational plan and the old management plan lacks key environmental standards. The National Plans of Action on Seabirds and Sharks are more relevant but they are slow to be implemented. There is no international management plan and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) has yet to apply effective measures to prevent over-fishing.|
|Stock assessment:||No quantitative stock assessment, but an assessment is proposed to be undertaken in 2018 by WCPFC.|
|Research:||There is no directed research on mako sharks in the fishery.|
|Observer coverage:||Observer coverage of 4.7% annually over last 5 years in the longline fishery. Coverage is not spatially or temporally representative of the fishing effort.|
Report from the Fishery Assessment plenary (November 2015) Stock assessments and yield estimates. Science Group, Ministry for Primary Industries; Ministry for Primary Industries (2016) Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity Annual Review 2015. Compiled by the Fisheries Management Science Team, Ministry for Primary Industries. 682p. The Guidebook to New Zealand Commercial Fish Species, 2007 Revised Edition, The New Zealand Seafood Industry Council Ltd. Seafood NZ, 2016. New Zealand Seafood Exports to December 2015. 133p. Bishop, S.D.; Francis, M.P.; Duffy, C. (2006). Age, growth, maturity, longevity and natural mortality of the shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) in New Zealand waters. Marine and Freshwater Research 57: 143-154; New Zealand National Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks (October 2013), Ministry of Primary Industries; IUCN Red List at www.redlist.org; WCPFC (2016) Report of the Scientific Committee of WCPFC. 232p.