Source: The Guardian
Author: Karen McVeigh
A record number of countries voted to restrict fishing of mako sharks in an effort to protect the endangered species.
A record number of countries have voted to protect the world’s fastest shark from extinction in a move welcomed by conservationists as a “wake up call” for fishing nations who have ignored the endangered species’ decline.
In Geneva this week, governments voted under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to regulate the international trade in both species of mako shark – long and short fin – in addition to 16 vulnerable species of sharks and rays.
Mako sharks, the “cheetahs of the ocean”, can reach speeds of up to 43mph. They are overfished worldwide, but the shortfin mako is considered especially vulnerable in the North Atlantic. EU vessels, mainly Spanish and Portuguese, were responsible for 65% of all reported catches of shortfin makos in the North Atlantic from January to June in 2018, according to the Shark Trust, and have not been subject to any limit on catch.