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LifestyleEndangered mako sharks gets protection

Endangered mako sharks gets protection

Published: 24th Nov 2021 3:01 pm

Madrid: Conservationists are heralding a hard-fought ban on retention of North Atlantic shortfin mako sharks adopted by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), as a first step toward reversing the decline of the seriously overfished population.

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The ban forms the core of a long-term international rebuilding plan, the first in the world for this exceptionally valuable, globally threatened species.

The EU, which has long taken the lion’s share of mako catch, insisted, however, on including a complicated formula that may offer a way for some parties to resume landings after the reprieve.

“We congratulate Canada, the UK, Senegal, and Gabon, for leading the charge to secure this historic, science-based protection for endangered shortfin mako sharks,” said Shannon Arnold, Marine program coordinator for Ecology Action Centre.
With its vast longline fleet and lax mako management, the EU remains the main threat to recovery. The EU took 74 per cent of the 2020 North Atlantic shortfin mako catch. The bloc set its first catch limit this year. Spain’s was grossly exceeded last year.

Prized for its meat, fins, and sport, shortfin makos are exceptionally valuable sharks. Slow growth makes them, and closely related longfin makos, exceptionally vulnerable to overfishing.

Both of these oceanic species are classified by the IUCN as globally Endangered. Subsequent listings on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) require parties to demonstrate that mako exports are sourced from legal, sustainable fisheries.

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