Featured Stories

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

13
Dec
2020

The Shark Trust – with support from Ecology Action Centre, Project AWARE, Shark League, The Ocean Foundation, Defenders of Wildlife, Human Society International, and Sciaena – is exceptionally disappointed that Parties have once again delayed urgently needed measures to reverse declines in Endangered shortfin mako populations, despite prioritizing this issue as the only potential shark conservation action of the 2020 virtual negotiations. This latest failure represents blatant disregard for SCRS advice at the expense of one of the ocean’s most valuable and vulnerable shark species. We regret that we must amplify previous warnings about inaction exacerbating risk for stock collapses that are irreparable in our lifetimes.

Continue reading ICCAT 2020 Joint NGO Closing Statement – Plenary

17
Nov
2020

Update, November 18, 2020: The day after signaling that ICCAT mako negotiations were at an impasse and would need to resume next year, the Chair of the Committee responsible for shark conservation announced that the matter is not yet closed and welcomed additional input from ICCAT Parties. The Shark League remains hopeful that the plan for the coming weeks was amended in response to countries expressing keen interest in tackling the mako crisis this year rather than accepting another damaging delay.

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

Also available in French and Spanish.

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