London, November 9, 2023. A new Shark League gap analysis highlights where shark fishing and trading nations are falling short after decades of conservation commitments made through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES, a global wildlife treaty) and the International Commission for Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT, a regional fishery management organization). The authors:
An analysis of ICCAT Parties’ policies for CITES-listed Atlantic elasmobranchs
Analyzing pivotal international agreements such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), the Shark League’s latest analysis, “Bridging the Gaps that Hinder Shark Conservation,” scrutinizes the efficacy of existing conservation initiatives and recommends essential improvements.
Conservation treaties are only as strong as their implementation, both internationally and at the national level. The Shark League’s analysis zeroes in on the performance of ICCAT Parties, evaluating their adherence to obligations for CITES-listed elasmobranchs. By identifying gaps between restrictions and conservation needs, the report serves as a compass for actionable change.
The report highlights essential areas where current measures fall short of safeguarding Atlantic elasmobranchs. By pinpointing these gaps, the analysis sets the stage for recommended improvements, creating a roadmap for policymakers and conservationists alike. The success of conservation efforts hinges on addressing these key discrepancies to ensure a thriving future for sharks and rays.
As part of the release, the Shark League is organising a Side Event during the 28th Regular Meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) on Saturday, November 11th, from 18:00 to 20:00 EGY. The event will take place at the Triumph Hotel in the Vienna Ballroom. Speakers include Shark League partners – Sonja Fordham from Shark Advocates International, Shannon Arnold from Ecology Action Centre, and Ali Hood from Shark Trust. The Side Events provide opportunities to gain insights into the latest analysis of Atlantic shark and ray protection measures under CITES and ICCAT, and learn about recommended improvements at both national and international levels.
London, UK. July 9, 2021.Conservationists are deeply unhappy that the
European Union and the United States once again obstructed agreement on
urgently needed mako shark protections during this week’s special Committee
negotiations of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic
Tunas (ICCAT). Canada and seven other Parties proposed a ban on retaining
seriously overfished North Atlantic shortfin makos, as scientists have long
advised. The EU and US refused to go along, insisting on exceptions for continued
landings of the endangered species, despite receiving only opposition in response.
The resulting delay in consensus allows unsustainable fishing on this shared
population to continue. ICCAT scientists estimate recovery could take five decades, even if
fishing were to stop immediately.
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.