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.
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.
Colombian environmental authorities have reported a huge shark massacre in the Malpelo wildlife sanctuary in Colombia's Pacific waters, where as many as 2,000 hammerhead, Galápagos and silky sharks may have been slaughtered for their fins.
Sandra Bessudo, the Colombian president's top adviser on environmental issues, said a team of divers who were studying sharks in the region reported the mass killing in the waters surrounding the rock-island known as Malpelo, some 500 kilometres from the mainland.
On Saturday 9th July Sub-Mission Dive Club in the UK organised a charity Fin-athon called Fin4Finning. Divers were targeted with completing 100,000,000 millimetres in mask and fins collectively, swimming from 8 am until 10 pm.
Last week, governments gathered in La Jolla, California for the annual meeting of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC), a regional fisheries management organization (RFMO) responsible for managing tuna fisheries across an area totaling approximately 68 million square kilometers (26 million square miles).
When PADI Course Directors, Darren McNamara and Katy Bloor, returned from a trip to Malaysia where they were astonished by the number of plastic bags floating around, they decided to raise awareness of the threats that plastic bags pose to marine wildlife. Back in the UK, they set up a challenge for members of their dive school Sub-Mission and asked them to go “Plastic Bag Free” for a week.
In a sign that the global movement to protect sharks is picking up steam, Honduras is declaring its waters to be a permanent sanctuary for the fish.
President Porfirio Lobo Sosa will sign the sanctuary bill into law on Friday on a visit to the island of Roatan, the country's top diving and snorkeling destination, his office said on Thursday. The move makes permanent a moratorium on commercial fishing for sharks that Honduras announced last year in a joint declaration with the Micronesian island of Palau.
Shark finning – slicing off a shark’s fins and discarding the body at sea - has been banned in the European Union (EU) since 2003. Yet, loopholes in the legislation were making the ban practically impossible to enforce. EU member states were issuing “special fishing permits” allowing shark fins and bodies to be landed separately. Exemptions in the law made a mockery of the ban.