Opportunities for Meaningful Progress Toward Conserving Sharks in the Indian Ocean

Date: May 13, 2024

As the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) convenes in Bangkok for its 28th session from May 13th to 18th, significant efforts are underway to advance shark conservation. This session marks a critical point for opportunities to enhance protections for vulnerable shark species in the Indian Ocean.

Key discussions include modifying the current finning ban to include all sharks landed, addressing a major enforcement loophole and aiding in the collection of crucial data. Concerns also persist over the unregulated fishing of Blue Sharks, with scientific forecasts indicating potential overfishing and depletion if current practices continue.

Additionally, the session will explore measures to reduce bycatch-related mortality, crucial for the survival of endangered species like Oceanic Whitetip and Thresher Sharks. Proposals include banning specific fishing gear that could decrease mortality by over 40%.

For detailed insights and further information on these crucial conservation efforts, we encourage you to download and read the Shark League IOTC fact sheet available here.

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