Let’s start with the good news: Fisheries around the world are catching far fewer sharks than they used to.
Shark catches are down more than 20 percent from their peak in 2003. That year fishing fleets around the world netted 900,000 metric tons of sharks.
Sharks and related species such as rays and skates—collectively known as chondrichthyans—have been overfished for so long that at least 25 percent of the 1,000-plus known species are threatened with extinction.
The European Commission (EC) has expressed its disappointment with the outcomes of the 87th Annual meeting of the Inter American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC), which finished on 18 July in Lima, Peru.
The disturbing discovery by a Phuket News reader of the selling of endangered hammerhead sharks in Kata market has been exasperated by the shocking realisation that the practice is not ‘technically’ illegal.
Gwyn Mills, CEO of Pattaya-based environmental organisation Dive Tribe, explained that the laws in Thailand regarding fishing practices are murky at best.
“It largely depends on where they’ve been caught... There are harsher penalties if they’ve been caught in a National Park as opposed to open waters for example.”
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.
We are emptying the ocean of sharks. Thankfully, divers are some of sharks’ closest and most influential allies. Together, we are creating a powerful, collective voice to lead global grassroots change. You’ve helped us secure a stronger EU finning ban and bring about safeguards for highly traded shark and ray species under CITES.