Overfishing threatens to wipe out bowmouth guitarfish in Indonesia

By: Wahyu Mulyono

Marine researchers in Indonesia wrote that uncontrolled fishing for bowmouth guitarfish (Rhina ancylostoma) and other species of wedgefish in the Java Sea, the Karimata Strait and the southern Makassar Strait threatens to wipe out the bowmouth population within 20 years.

The scientists performed demographic analysis of two wedgefish species (the other was the white-spotted guitarfish, or Rhynchobatus australiae) involving scenarios with and without fishing. They used sampling programmes from 2017−2019 that recorded a total of 2,064 individuals of the white-spotted guitarfish and 334 of the bowmouth guitarfish. They found, however, that current fishing pressure didn’t negatively affect the white-spotted guitarfish.

The study noted that no stock assessment research has been conducted for these two wedgefish species, either in Indonesia or other regions, despite the globally threatened conservation status of both species. Neither is included in Indonesia’s protected species list.

The researchers called on the government to impose a strict catch quota for both bowmouth and white-spotted guitarfish and full protection of their juvenile populations to prevent them from going extinct in the wild. For the bowmouth guitarfish in particular, the authors strongly urged a substantial reduction in fishing to protect the population in Indonesia’s western waters.


> Source: https://www.eco-business.com/news/overfishing-threatens-to-wipe-out-bowmouth-guitarfish-in-indonesia/