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The United States has been a major obstacle to securing urgently needed protections for Endangered shortfin mako sharks. Scientists associated with the International Commission for Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) have documented serious overfishing and depletion of the North Atlantic population, in particular, and have been advising a regional ban on retention since 2017.

In 2019, 16 ICCAT Parties supported heeding this advice, but opposition from the U.S. (and EU) prevented consensus, leaving the declining population woefully underprotected for another year. In anticipation of upcoming virtual ICCAT 2020 negotiations, a diverse array of 18 NGOs have united to urge the U.S. government to change course and help turn the tide for this exceptional species. Read the joint letter here.

Continue reading Eighteen NGOs call on U.S. government to change course and support international protection for Endangered mako sharks


Major seafood companies have joined an appeal to ICCAT delegations to protect shortfin mako sharks, heeding scientists’ warnings about depletion in the North Atlantic and imminent risk in the South.

The letter signed by over eighty supermarket chains, tuna buyers, and NGOs sets out urgent issues for the tuna Regional Fisheries Management Organisations in 2020, highlighting mako sharks as the priority for ICCAT. While acknowledging the impacts of COVID-19 on the decision-making process, signatories believe progress can and must be made on such pressing concerns.

Read more on the NGO Tuna Forum website.


Dear Minister:

On behalf of the Shark League, a non-profit coalition dedicated to science-based conservation of inherently vulnerable sharks, we write to express our gratitude for Canada’s adherence and promotion of scientific advice for protecting endangered Atlantic shortfin makos, as well as our hope that this much needed leadership will continue with resubmission of Canada’s proposal for science-based mako catch limits by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).

Continue reading Shark League Letter to the Honourable Bernadette Jordan Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard


 Dear Minister Ribera: 

We write to register our concern about the status of mako sharks and to request information on how Spain is implementing its associated commitments under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Specifically, we are interested in obtaining copies of the national non-detriment findings (NDFs) being used to justify continued high seas fishing of these sharks by Spanish vessels. 

Continue reading Shark League Letter to Minister Teresa Ribera, Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge