North Atlantic ban endorsed by 16 countries – including Japan and China – thwarted in ICCAT meeting
Mallorca, Spain. November 25, 2019. Conservationists are shocked and distressed that the European Union and the United States – despite long promoting science-based shark conservation — were the main obstacles to the adoption of urgently needed protections for mako sharks at the annual meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). Ten countries, led by Senegal and Canada, proposed and fought for consensus on banning retention of seriously overfished North Atlantic shortfin makos, as ICCAT scientists advise. Yet the EU and US refused to give up on exceptions for hundreds of tons of the Endangered species to be landed. ICCAT scientists estimate this population could take four or five decades to recover, even if fishing stops. Lack of consensus allows status quo fishing at unsustainable levels to continue.