The Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network

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EU Shark discussions - Struan Stevenson MSP

We have received a letter from Struan Stevenson MSP laying out his views on the Fisheries Council’s shark discussions. This post contains the gist of it; the complete document can be found here.

Key points from the letter :

The fact that the Fisheries Council discussed sharks on the agenda of their December meeting in Brussels represents something of a breakthrough. An urgent action plan for sharks including conservation measures and TAC’s and quotas was demanded.

The Commission promised to produce such a plan in 2008.

The over-exploitation of sharks in European waters has reached crisis point. Some species, like the Squalus acanthias or Spurdog now face extinction unless urgent action is taken to provide them with protection.

Recreational sea-anglers in Scotland through SOS/SSACN have begun a tag and release scheme to help monitor the migratory patterns of these fish.

It is essential that all food outlets stop selling Spurdog immediately, this applies especially to the UK, Belgium, Germany and France.

I also hope it will address the serious depredation of the Blue Shark which has been exploited ruthlessly for its fins and especially the practice of finning, where fishermen cut the fins of a shark and throw the rest of the shark back in the water - often while still alive.

It is high time Fisheries Commissioner tightened up the loopholes in the finning regulations. I look forward to a tough action plan from the Commission which will give our shark populations a chance to recover.

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