A new guidebook has been released on how to protect sharks and rays from overfishing.

Published by James Cook University and the World Wide Fund for Nature, “A Practical Guide to the Effective Design and Management of MPAs for Sharks and Rays” comes at a critical time when almost one in four of the species are classified as threatened according to the IUCN Red List.

The book looks at the impact of Marine Protected Areas, and how some of them have successfully protected sharks and rays while others have failed to do so. It highlights key attributes of successful MPAs, including:

  • Engaging with local communities who may lose income.
  • Effective monitoring and policy adaption
  • Well-resourced and committed staff.
  • Clear defined goals for the MPAs.

The book also points out some shared features of less successful MPAs, including:

  • Paper parks that exist only on maps with no follow up or enforcement.
  • No goals are making it impossible to measure success.
  • Poorly resourced and ignoring local communities.

You can find out more information here or get the full guidebook here.