Continued leadership at Atlantic fisheries meeting could save Endangered makos and combat finning
Washington, DC. November 12, 2019. Conservationists are looking to the U.S. for leadership ahead of an international fisheries meeting that could turn the tide for Endangered mako sharks and help prevent finning (slicing off a shark’s fins and discarding the body at sea). At its November 18-25 meeting in Mallorca, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) will consider at least two shark conservation proposals: (1) to ban retention of seriously overfished shortfin makos, based on sobering new scientific advice, and (2) to require that all sharks that are allowed to be landed have their fins still attached, to ease finning ban enforcement. The U.S. has led efforts to strengthen the ICCAT finning ban for a decade. Despite recent cutbacks, the U.S. still ranked third among 53 ICCAT Parties in 2018 for North Atlantic shortfin mako landings (taken in recreational and commercial fisheries); the government’s position on a mako ban proposed by Senegal is not yet clear.