Sharks and rays belong to the group of Elasmobranchs, differing from bony fishes by having cartilaginous skeletons and five or more gill slits on each side of the head. Elasmobranchs are at risk worldwide because they are over-targeted in fishing, either as intended catch or as by-catch. Sharks are caught often for their fins for shark fin soup. Their fins don’t really add to the taste of this soup, it is merely a status symbol in China and a few other countries.
As a result, yearly 70-100 million sharks are caught and most of the 400 shark species have dramatically declined in numbers, in some cases even with 70-90%. The project that involves a lot of awareness campaigning, will be executed the coming 3 years and when proven successful, it will be expanded to the rest of Kenya and other East African countries. Our executive partner is Cordio (Coastal Oceans Research and Development Indian Ocean), situated in Mombasa.