Shark fisheries in the Northwest region of Cuba

Gaspar González-Sansón, Robert Hueter, Eloisa Rojas Fornari, Yureidy Cabrera Páez, Alejandra Briones Bell-lloch, Raidel Borroto Vejerano, Aracely Hernández Betancourt, Pamela Baker


Sharks have been important as sources of seafood and fisheries revenue in Cuba. Nevertheless, current information about this group of fishes in Cuba is scarce and in the last few decades they have not been the focus of any organized research. From October 2009 to June 2011, fisheries and biological (229 sharks examined) data were collected at four landing sites in the northwest region of Cuba.  At present there is no organized fishery specifically targeting only sharks along the northwest coast of Cuba, but they are caught as a component of multispecies fisheries on the insular shelf and as bycatch in longline fisheries targeting billfishes. We documented 17 species, six in the “commercial” fishery (dominated by Carcharhinus perezii, Sphyrna mokarran, and Carcharhinus leucas) and 14 in the “sport” (i.e. small-scale artisanal, not recreational) fishery (dominated by Isurus oxyrinchus, Isurus paucus, Carcharhinus longimanus, Carcharhinus falciformis, Galeocerdo cuvier and Prionace glauca). Mean CPUE (number of sharks caught per ten fishing trips) in sport fishing varied from 0.43 to 4.44. The contribution of NW Cuban fisheries to total shark landings in the Gulf of Mexico is relatively small. However, most oceanic sharks caught in the Cuban “sport” fisheries are highly migratory species and their populations show great ecological connectivity throughout the Gulf and adjacent waters. This fact and the presence of a high proportion of individuals of C. longimanus below maturity size are important results to be considered for regional conservation of sharks and rational use planning for shark fisheries.

González-Sansón G, Hueter R, Rojas Fornari E, Cabrera Páez Y, Briones Bell-lloch A, Borroto Vejerano R, Hernández Betancourt A, Baker P. Shark fisheries in the Northwest region of Cuba. Lat. Am. J. Aquat. Res.. 2017;42(3). Available from: doi:10.3856/vol42-issue3-fulltext-8 [Accessed 20 Jan. 2019].
González-Sansón, G., Hueter, R., Rojas Fornari, E., Cabrera Páez, Y., Briones Bell-lloch, A., Borroto Vejerano, R., Hernández Betancourt, A., & Baker, P. (2017). Shark fisheries in the Northwest region of Cuba. Latin American Journal of Aquatic Research, 42(3). doi: