Greenland shark bycatch mortality and mitigation in Canadian Arctic fisheries
Accidental fisheries catch ? or bycatch ? is a critical issue for conservation and fisheries management. Greenland sharks are a common bycatch in northern fisheries and are of concern because they are long-lived and may be vulnerable to overfishing. The proposed research addresses current data gaps related to Greenland shark bycatch through the following objectives: 1) Measure how many sharks survive encounters with fishing gear to estimate fisheries mortality rates; 2) Explore seasonal movements of Greenland shark throughout the region; and 3) Analyze fisheries data to identify patterns in shark bycatch rates over time. We will use electronic tags to measure shark bycatch survival and monitor seasonal habitat use. Fisheries catch data will be analyzed to examine when/where sharks are most often caught. Results from these objectives will help discover the impact of fisheries on Greenland sharks and identify ways to reduce fishing gear encounters with this vulnerable Arctic predator.