Shortfin mako and blue shark management improvements needed at ICCAT

Shortfin mako and blue shark management improvements needed at ICCAT

Added to Updates on 13 November 2017
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A summary overview of the WWF shark-focused position (link included) that encourages ICCAT (International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas) to finalize the adoption of important amendments to the Convention that will enable the Commission to manage all shark fisheries and adopt a precautionary approach and ecosystem-based management for its future decisions. The 25th Regular Meeting of ICAAT will be held 14-22 November 2017.

 Many shark species in the ICCAT Convention area remain subject to high levels of fishing mortality that current stock assessment trends suggest could be unsustainable. WWF is concerned by shark conservation and sustainability in the Convention area as a whole and considers it important to take into account responsible management, trade and consumption where shark mortality occurs as a result of all fishing activities, not just in circumstances where tuna is shed.

WWF is particularly concerned about the recent stock assessment for the North Atlantic shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus), which indicates an alarming decline in the population.

 

WWF recommends that ICCAT:

  1. Prohibits all catches, trans-shipments and landings of Atlantic shortfin mako shark within the Convention area.
  2. Immediately introduces effective science-based catch limits for all stocks of blue shark (Prionace glauca), including the development of reference points and management plans to proactively prevent overfishing and stock depletion.
  3. Adopts a policy for all species of shark of landing the whole fish with fins attached, to ensure the practice of finning does not occur in the Convention area.
  4. Ensures that the implementation requirements for CITES-listed sharks are undertaken by CITES parties and non- parties trading with CITES parties where they are required to make non-detriment and legal findings for the issue of export permits for trade in these species*.
  5. Ensures the improvement of data collection and reporting of all shark by-catch, including full reporting for all trans- shipments.

WWF also raises a number of issues related to the recovery of the Atlantic Bluefin tuna and Mediterannean swordfish, and tropical tunas ahead of the 25th Regular Meeting of ICCAT being held in Morocco from the 14-22 November.

The full position can be viewed here https://www.wwf.at/de/view/files/download/showDownload/?tool=12&feld=download&sprach_connect=3215

 

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James Morgan/WWF
James Morgan/WWF

EXPERT OPINION: Can the CITES process help in shark and ray conservation?

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While CITES is not the ‘silver bullet’ that will save all sharks and rays from extinction, it certainly can provide a driver to stimulate conservation efforts.

See WWF Global Site

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