Although edible, the nurse shark is not usually prized as market food. In Brazil the Nurse Shark is consumed locally by fishermen, who incidentally or actively capture the species. In Venezuela it is marketed salt dried (Cervigón and Alcalá 1999). Major threats include incidental and deliberate capture in coastal fisheries, spear fishing and capture for the ornamental fish trade, and indirectly, the impacts on the coastal zone, particularly on reef areas which constitute its preferred habitat. Actively targeted by Panamanian artisanal fishers with lines and gillnets. Fished by artisanal fishers along the Colombian coast with nets and lines. Nurse sharks are also harvested in parts of the Caribbean for their skin.
In the United States, they are occasionally captured in the bottom longline fishery, however, nearly all are released and post-release survivorship is high.
Nurse sharks are fished in Panama for their fins and meat (US$ 0.75 per Lb) (Monzini 2004). In Colombia nurse sharks are mostly targetted for the skin while meat is usually transformed into animal food (Cervigon et al. 1999). In Panama, juveniles are also collected for public and private aquarium (Monzini 2004).
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