Law School

Improving the Global Governance of Sharks - Identifying obstacles, options and opportunities


Turquoise BayIn 2012, Professor Erika Techera, UWA Law School, in collaboration with Professor Natalie Klein of Macquarie University, received funding from the Australian Research Council for a project entitled International Governance of Sharks: Options, Opportunities and Obstacles.

About the Research

Emerging science indicates that sharks play a critical role in maintaining marine ecosystem health. Yet current governance regimes have not been effective and many shark species continue to decline. This project will enhance international laws and institutions for shark conservation and management by confronting obstacles that hamper the effectiveness of existing laws, identifying best practice global governance options and highlighting opportunities for legal reform.

Professors Techera and Klein will analyse the existing international laws and institutions relevant to shark conservation and management and identify models for improved legal governance drawing upon regimes for other marine species. This research will make an important contribution to their conservation and sustainable use of marine species more broadly by identifying ways in which we can work better with existing laws and making recommendations for the future.

The research will be conducted from 2013 to 2016 and the findings will equip Australia to take a leadership role in the development of international environmental law frameworks.

About the Researchers

Professors Techera and Klein have been collaborating on issues associated with the conservation and management of sharks for a number of years. They are the authors of ‘Regulatory Tools for Shark Conservation and Management: Improving Legal Governance and Harnessing Eco-tourism’ in O P Jenkins (Ed), Advances in Zoology Research. Volume 3. (Nova, New York, 2012); ‘Shark-based Eco-tourism: Governance lessons from Australia’ (2013) 39 Marine Policy 21-28; and ‘Fragmented Governance: Reconciling legal strategies for shark conservation and management’ (2011) 35(1) Marine Policy 73-78.

Their new publication Sharks: Conservation, Governance and Management (Earthscan, UK) will be available in early 2014.