ICCAT protects silky sharks, leaves porbeagles vulnerable and finning ban weak
Fishing nations at the annual meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) have acted on one of three shark conservation proposals. ICCAT Parties adopted protections for silky sharks, based on a proposal from the EU, Brazil, and the US. Proposals to protect porbeagle sharks and to strengthen the ICCAT ban on shark finning (slicing off a shark’s fins and discarding the body at sea) were defeated.
The European Union (EU) today became a signatory to the United Nations Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Sharks, just as the European Commission announced a proposal to strengthen the EU ban on shark "finning‟ (slicing off a shark‟s fins and discarding the body at sea).
On Monday 21st November 2011, Project AWARE together with other Shark Alliance member groups enthusiastically welcomed the long-awaited proposal from the European Commission to close the loopholes in the European Union’s ban on shark finning, the wasteful practice of slicing off a shark’s fins and discarding the body at sea.
The proposal if adopted by the European Parliament and Council of Ministers would ensure that all sharks taken by EU vessels or in EU waters are landed with their fins still naturally attached to their bodies.
Delegates at an international conservation meeting agreed Saturday on a measure mandating that silky sharks accidentally caught in fishing gear be released back into the sea alive, marine advocacy groups said.
The 48-member International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), however — ending a weeklong meeting in Istanbul — failed to reach consensus on other threatened shark species, the groups said.
It is now a crime to kill tiger and hammerhead sharks in the waters off Florida. In a unanimous vote following two years of spirited public hearings, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to protect the tiger shark and three species of hammerhead from recreational and commercial anglers.
"Sometimes the appropriate measures of conservation are the problems we avoid, not the problems we have to fix," said Commissioner Brian Yablonski.
When Project AWARE called on the diving community to shout out for sharks during Big Shark Shout Out week 15 - 23 Ocbober, Coral Grand Divers in Koh Tao, Thailand responded to the call and put a 3 steps plan together to help give sharks a fighting chance.
Only a tiny fraction of Atlantic sharks – under 1% – are under protection even though most shark species are heading towards extinction, a report warns on Tuesday.
Officials from 48 Atlantic fishing countries are meeting in Istanbul this week to try to protect bluefin tuna, swordfish and other large fish.
But existing conservation efforts are only saving a tiny proportion of sharks, the report from the Oceana conservation group said.
"It's just the tip of the iceberg, and there are a lot of shark species, many of them vulnerable species, that are still being caught and killed MORE
Scientists and law-makers across the world are prioritising the protection of sharks, but critics say the measures don't work.
The shark that lands on the deck of the Coral Princess boat is 6.5ft of thrashing grey muscle and teeth, and the crew can't wait to get their hands on him.
They slip a plastic breathing tube through rows of sharp, serrated teeth to pump water over its gills, and get to work: measuring, taking blood and tissue samples, and drilling a small hole in its dorsal fin to attach a satellite transmitter. The device looks a bit like a bath toy.