Press Release

23
Nov
2021

International fishery managers agree to historic yet potentially short-term North Atlantic ban

The Press Release is also available in: Français (French), Español (Spanish)

Madrid, Spain. November 23, 2021. Conservationists are heralding a hard-fought ban on retention of North Atlantic shortfin mako sharks adopted today by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), as a first step toward reversing the decline of the seriously overfished population. The ban forms the core of a long-term international rebuilding plan, the first in the world for this exceptionally valuable, globally threatened species. ICCAT fishery managers agreed that, in 2022 and 2023, all retention of North Atlantic shortfin makos will be prohibited, an action that ICCAT scientists have advised since 2017. The EU – which has long taken the lion’s share of mako catch – insisted, however, on including a complicated formula that may offer a way for some Parties to resume landings after the reprieve.

Continue reading PRESS RELEASE: Endangered Mako Sharks Get A Break

15
Nov
2021

International Tuna Fishery Managers Resume Negotiations That Could Result in Overdue, Historic Protection

The Press Release is available in: English, French and Spanish

PRESS RELEASE, Madrid, Spain. November 15, 2021. Conservationists are focused this week on the annual meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) and the possibility of a new agreement to protect seriously overfished North Atlantic shortfin mako sharks. Since 2017, scientists have recommended a ban on retention as the most effective immediate step toward reversing decline and rebuilding the population over about 50 years. Such a ban has been repeatedly proposed by many ICCAT Parties, led most recently by Canada, Senegal, Gabon, and the UK. The main obstacles have been the EU and the US whose competing proposals for exceptions have prevented consensus for years.

Continue reading Press Release: Make or Break for Endangered Atlantic Mako Sharks

24
Sep
2021

Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization fails to agree Greenland Shark ban despite broad support

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. September 24, 2021. The Greenland shark – the species thought to have the longest lifespan of any vertebrate – has been denied new protections at this week’s (online) annual meeting of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO). The US had proposed a science-based ban on retaining Greenland sharks and was supported by the EU, UK, Canada, Russia, Norway, and France (with respect to Saint Pierre and Miquelon). In response to opposition from Iceland, however, the US withdrew its proposal. The NAFO Parties supporting Greenland shark protection pledged to reintroduce the proposal at the next annual meeting.

Continue reading Arctic Shark Denied Protection

9
Jul
2021

Decision on North Atlantic ICCAT ban – championed by Canada, Gabon, Senegal, and the UK – stalled again

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London, UK. July 9, 2021. Conservationists are deeply unhappy that the European Union and the United States once again obstructed agreement on urgently needed mako shark protections during this week’s special Committee negotiations of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). Canada and seven other Parties proposed a ban on retaining seriously overfished North Atlantic shortfin makos, as scientists have long advised. The EU and US refused to go along, insisting on exceptions for continued landings of the endangered species, despite receiving only opposition in response. The resulting delay in consensus allows unsustainable fishing on this shared population to continue. ICCAT scientists estimate recovery could take five decades, even if fishing were to stop immediately.

Continue reading EU and US Impede Momentum Toward Vital Mako Shark Protections

20
May
2021

Press Release available in French and Spanish

Cross Party Coalition Calls on EU Commissioner to Change Course and Accept Scientific Advice

Brussels. 20 May 2021. 41 Members of European Parliament (MEPs) are calling on the European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, to ensure EU support for protecting endangered shortfin mako sharks through the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). In a letter sent today, in preparation for upcoming ICCAT negotiations, the MEPs request that the EU stop blocking and begin supporting a mako retention ban long recommended by scientists to save the North Atlantic population.

Continue reading MEPs Urge EU Support for Protecting Endangered Mako Sharks

1
Feb
2021

New Landings Ban by Top Shark Fishing Power Could Take a Big Bite Out of Overfishing

Press Release available in English and Spanish

London, February 1, 2021. Conservationists are heralding action by the Spanish government to protect one of the world’s most valuable and threatened shark species, the shortfin mako. A new moratorium on landing, sale, and trade applies to the particularly depleted North Atlantic population and has potential to put a significant dent in serious, long-term overfishing.

Continue reading Spain Protects Endangered Mako Sharks

21
Dec
2020

After fisheries officials fail, environmental obligations offer hope for 2021 landings crack down

Brussels. December 21, 2020. Conservationists are closing the year with hope for endangered North Atlantic shortfin mako sharks as EU level decisions point to unprecedented 2021 limits for some of the world’s top mako fishing countries, particularly Spain and Portugal. Just after the European Commission blocked an international North Atlantic ban and proposed excessive EU mako quotas, EU Member State scientists reviewing mako obligations under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) have issued an opinion that points to EU Member States banning North Atlantic shortfin mako imports, including those introduced from the high seas by EU fishing vessels.

Continue reading Overdue EU Action Sets Up Endangered Mako Sharks for New Year’s Reprieve

14
Dec
2020

Available in French and Spanish.

North Atlantic ban championed by Canada, Senegal, and the UK thwarted in virtual ICCAT meeting

London, UK. December 14th, 2020. Conservationists are outraged that the European Union and the United States – despite long promoting science-based shark conservation – once again served as the main obstacles to urgently needed protections for mako sharks through annual negotiations of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). Canada, Senegal, and – in their first official act as an independent ICCAT Party — the United Kingdom proposed a ban on retention of seriously overfished North Atlantic shortfin makos, as ICCAT scientists have long advised. The proposal earned support from Taiwan and Gabon. The EU and US, however, refused to give up on exceptions for continuing to land the endangered species. As a result, this year’s mako negotiations end with no new conservation measures. The next opportunity for Atlantic-wide action is July 2021 through a special intersessional meeting. ICCAT scientists estimate this population could take five decades to recover, even if fishing were to stop immediately. Lack of consensus allows unsustainable fishing on this shared population to continue.

Continue reading EU and US Block Vital Protections for Endangered Mako Sharks