Shortfin and longfin mako sharks were listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in August 2019. CITES Parties will soon be required to demonstrate that mako exports are sourced from legal, sustainable fisheries.
At their annual meeting in November, member governments of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), all of which are CITES Parties, will consider fishing restrictions to protect shortfin makos in the North Atlantic. Earlier this year, ICCAT scientists underscored previous warnings that this population is continuing to decline from serious overfishing, and reiterated their advice for a full ban on retention.
The Shark League coalition has appealed to fisheries and environment authorities in all ICCAT Parties to work together to ensure this advice is immediately heeded, in line with government obligations under both ICCAT and CITES. The ICCAT Parties that co-proposed the CITES listing for makos, including the EU, have a responsibility to lead in these efforts. So far, however, only one Party – Senegal – has stepped up to propose a mako ban.