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19
Feb
2021

The Shark Trust, in concert with its Shark League partners, appreciates the opportunity to offer a final consolidated statement regarding our top ICCAT priority: science-based limits for shortfin mako sharks.


We reiterate our deep disappointment over the lack of consensus on urgently needed mako protections. ICCAT scientists have warned about makos’ inherent vulnerability for more than a decade. This year marks four years since they firstrecommended, inter alia, a South Atlantic 2001t TAC and a North Atlantic retention ban. Repeated failure to heed this advice jeopardizes an exceptionally valuable and vulnerable shark species, exacerbating risk for population collapses that are irreparable in our lifetimes. To recap:

We oppose landing allowances for the depleted North Atlantic population because they:
▪ Run counter to SCRS advice for a non-retention policy “without exception”
▪ Create incentive for irresponsible fishing practices that cause stress and ensure mortality
▪ Further delay a multidecadal recovery.
The SCRS has been clear and comprehensive in advising a North Atlantic ban. This measure:
▪ Is based on TAC scenarios that incorporate all sources of mortality, including dead discards
▪ Is deemed the most effective way to achieve the substantial reductions necessary
▪ Takes into account the species’ relatively high post-release surviva

Retention bans are not novel or overly burdensome. Such measures:
▪ Are vital to remove incentives to encounter and kill valuable, threatened species
▪ Were recommended for shark species of concern more than a decade ago
▪ Are the most common RFMO shark measure, mandated by ICCAT for many other species
▪ Have been implemented by several ICCAT Parties for many shark species
▪ Are less restrictive than closing fisheries.

More must be done. We support additional measures to minimize incidental mako mortality. Such actions are recommended to boost recovery but cannot replace the core elements of the SCRS advice.

Harmonization is increasingly warranted as Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) obligations are implemented. We welcome North Atlantic mako bans by Canada, Portugal, and Spain, as well as opinions by EU and UK CITES expert panels that find against continued North Atlantic mako trade, including high seas landings. Ensuring complementary, science-based mako safeguards across fisheries and environment authorities at domestic and international levels is not only the best path for saving makos but can also set an overdue example for conservation of many other shark and ray species

Between now and July, unilateral actions and collective prioritization are needed to minimize further damage and enable an effective intersessional agreement. We urge Parties to:
▪ Implement domestic science-based mako measures
▪ Encourage other Parties to follow suit, and
▪ Prepare to propose, promote, and agree the mako measures advised by the SCRS.

10
Feb
2021

Source: La Voz de Galicia

Celebran la prohibición de las 90 toneladas que los palangreros de superficie capturaron el año pasado.

La organización conservacionista Shark League está convencida de que la decisión que ha tomado el Ministerio de Transición Ecológica español de imponer un cupo cero para la venta de marrajo tendrá consecuencias positivas en la reducción de la sobrepesca de la especie en el Atlántico norte. Y es que, según sostiene la Shark League en un comunicado, España ocupa la primera posición mundial en capturas de marrajo dientuso y es responsable de alrededor de la mitad de los desembarques de ejemplares de la población de ese océano, especialmente diezmada.

Continue reading Conservacionistas creen que el veto de España a la venta de marrajo aliviará la sobrepesca

4
Feb
2021

The new ban on shortfin mako landings from high seas North Atlantic fisheries coincides with similar prohibitions just imposed by Spain. The combined actions of these two fishing powers could just turn the tide for this endangered population.

The Shark League is congratulating the Portuguese government for taking action to protect one of the world’s most valuable and threatened shark species, the shortfin mako. A new moratorium on landing applies to shortfin makos caught in North Atlantic high seas fisheries, the source of most of Portugal’s mako catch. News of the ban comes just as even broader mako protections by Spain are coming to light. Because these two countries are responsible for ~65% of the total landings of North Atlantic makos, their combined actions have great potential to stem serious overfishing and save this particularly depleted population from collapse.

Continue reading Shark League Applauds Portugal for Long-Awaited Mako Protection

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