Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System

Myanmar Shark Fisheries
Fishery  Fact Sheet
Status and trends of sharks fisheries in SouthEast Asia 2004
Myanmar Shark Fisheries
Fact Sheet Citation  
Outcomes from the Study on Shark Fisheries in Southeast Asia: Myanmar
Owned bySoutheast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) – more>>

Overview: Shark fisheries in Myanmar are small scale, which utilize wooden boats with engine not more than 25 horse power. Most of the shark landings are coming from incidental catch. There are only few dedicated elasmobranches fishermen, although elasmobranches are caught by nearly an incidental catches.

Location of Myanmar Shark Fisheries

Geographic reference:  Myanmar
Spatial Scale: National
Reference year: 2004
Approach: Fishery Resource

Harvested Resource
Fishery Area: Myanmar

Captured Species: Bull shark; Spottail shark; Graceful shark …  

Fishery Indicators

Harvested Resource
Type of production system: Commercial; Artisanal; Semi-industrial   

Fishery Area
Climatic zone: Tropical.  
The Union of Myanmar located in South East Asia between North Latitude 09˚32' and 28˚ 31' and East Longitude 92˚10' and 101˚11', the total coastline stretch from Naaf River to Kawthoung (Victoria point) approximately about 2831 Km. Southern part of the coastline the Mergui Archipelago is forming over 800 island, the continental shelf covers 225,000 square kilometer. The Exclusive Economic Zone cover 486,000 square kilometer. The Rakhine coast, bordering Bay of Bengal with a narrow and deep shelf and has a few inlets down to about North Latitude 16˚. The Ayeyawady coast, covering the most shallow and slightly sloping wide shelf between North Latitude 16˚ and 13˚ 30, and about East Longitude 94˚ and it is also dominant by the influence of the outflows of Ayeyawady, Sittaung and Thanlwin Rivers. The Tanintharyi coast lays southern part of the country, situated between North Latitude 13˚ to 10˚, it is bordering the Andaman Sea, and it is also belongs the Mergui Archipelago. Inside the Archipelago there is numerous islands and inlets, between these island crystal water and medium depths, and it is end to the continental shelf.

Geo References
In order to collect current information about shark fisheries in Myanmar, three appropriate lending sites, "Sittway" from Rakhine Coastal Area, "Haing-Gyi" from Ayeyawady Delta Coastal Area and "Myeik" from Taninthayi Coastal Area were selected. Data collection started from mid of January to mid of October 2004.
Captured Species
Sharks are caught in fisheries targeting pelagic and demersal marine species.
Vessel Type
Flag State
Fishing Gear
Shark are mainly caught as by-catch with several type of fishing gears, including long-line, gill net, grouper trap, and bottom trawl gear. And it is mostly caught by long-line and gill net, the Department of Fisheries does not permit or allowed specifically designed for catching shark fishing. There are a few direct fishing for elasmobranches; but most of the sharks are obtained as by otter-boat trawling and gill net fisheries.

Hooks and lines

Gillnets and entangling nets
Environmental limitations to fishing: monsoon.
In "Sittway" sharks are captures as target species of shark-longline, while as by catch of fish trawlers and shrimp trawlers. During the whole year of observation in the year of 2004, sharks were captured as 19.9% of total landings in first quarter, 51.5 % of total landings in second quarter, 52.4% of total landings in third quarters and 8.7% of total landings in fourth quarter. It showed that shark-longline were effective for catching in this area. The percentage of shark landing in this area is a little bit more than the other two landing sites, "Haing-Gyi" and "Myeik" due to data collection error. This calculation is only base on information gathered from the shark buyer's house not on the whole landing data. The percentage of the shark landing will be nearly the same with the other two landing sites if the calculation is based on the whole landing data. From this survey, we can observe that sharks were captured as 17.6 % of total landings in this area during project period in 2004.

In "Haing-Gyi" sharks are captures as target species of shark-longline, while as by catch of fish trawlers and shrimp trawlers. During the whole year of observation in the year of 2004, sharks were captured 0.43% of total landings in first quarter, 0.63% of total landings in second quarter, 1.99% of total landings in third quarter and 0.26% of total landings in fourth quarter. For the whole year round of the survey period, it was found that shark composition in the total landings of "Haing-Gyi" is only ( 0.38 %).

In "Myeik" sharks are captures as target species of shark-longline, while as by catch of fish trawlers and shrimp trawlers. During the whole year of observation in the year of 2004, sharks were captured 0.08% of total landings in first quarter, 0.03% of total landings in second quarter, 0.07% of total landings in third quarter and 0.065% of total landings in fourth quarter. For the whole year round of the survey period, it was found that shark composition in the total landings of "Myeik" is only ( 0.06 %).
Post Harvest
Fish Utilisation
Shark fin are the main target for shark fisheries. Fins are taken from all sizes and all species of sharks and shark-like batoids. Prices vary according to species, size, and the quality of the processing. Pectoral fins are the highest price. In addition, parts of the gill arches are used for yielding lower grade dried shark fin material. The processing of shark fins is complicated, time consuming and dependent on specific "know how". Fins are dried by sunlight or smoking, and may be salted. Well-dried fins may either export or further processed by boiling and removing skin and any excess material until only the fin rays and filaments remain. These are re-dried and packed. The grading of fins is based on size, color, species, cut and rendering, and the moisture content of the products. In Myanmar, there are very few large-scale shark fin industries; most only process up to the stage of drying the raw fins and then export them. The largest export destination for Myanmar shark fin products is China, followed by Thailand and Singapore.

Some elasmobranch species are used for ornamental or other purposes, either whole or in parts. Shark jaws are usually processed by cleaning and drying, and then sold as curios or collectables. The rostrums of sawfishes Pristis spp: are sold for decoration or as curios. Present time sawfish are very rare to see in market or landing site, no sawfish were recorded in the survey period for these study area.
Small shark were sold in local market at coastal areas, Myanmar people almost preferred fresh water fishes. Shark from all fisher were landed in coastal areas market and also landing site, some market collected and auction species wise or depend on its size. They produced every part of shark body, liver oil for cosmetic and medicine purpose, dried shark skin, shark jaws for souvenirs, cartilage for medicine purpose; they especially sold shark fin for local china town market and export for Taiwan, China and Hong Kong. The local people usually utilized dried shark meat for their special event. Some fishermen and local people boiled the shark skin and make salad with chilly and lemon juice, No specific data for shark fisheries in Department of Fisheries yet.
Management unit: No

Jurisdictional framework
Management Body/Authority(ies): Department of Fisheries, Myanmar
Mandate: Management.  
Area of Competence: Myanmar
Maritime Area: Exclusive Economic Zone Areas (EEZ).  
Management Methods

Management measures

Fish species-related measures
According to the order number 2/2004 issued by the Department of Fisheries on 2 May 2004, noone can conduct shark fishing operation in the protected areas starting from "Ross" island (12º 13' N, 98º 05.2' E) to "Lampi" island (10º 48' N, 98º 16.1' E). The water around the island area also have been announced as shark fishing protected areas, whereby collection of marine fauna and flora is also prohibited.

Activities-related measures
There is no direct protective legislation for elasmobranches in Myanmar. However, Myanmar Marine Fisheries Law 1990 regulates fishing effort by quotas and season.
Source of Information
Information on shark fisheries in Thailand was collected under the one year study on shark fisheries in the ASEAN region, conducted by SEAFDEC in collaboration with eight Member Countries, namely Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. The study aims to develop standard method for information collection on shark fisheries, to be further undertaken by each Member Countries, to support sustainable management and utilization of sharks in the ASEAN region.
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