US cut shark quotas

June 20th, 2008

The Shark Alliance is heralding new rules for shark fishing in the USA and drawing parallels to needed improvements in European Union (EU) shark fishing regulations.

Changes to the US Atlantic shark plan, announced by the government today, will vastly improve the region’s ban on shark finning (cutting off a shark’s fins and discarding the body at sea) by prohibiting the removal of shark fins at sea, a strategy aimed at better enforcement and species-specific data collection. The government will also dramatically reduce fishing quotas for some of the region’s most imperiled shark species, such as porbeagles, in line with scientific advice. Changes take effect July 24.

The new US rules will cut fishing for depleted sandbar sharks, the region’s most commercially valuable species, to a strictly limited, research fishery and cut its quota for the more oceanic porbeagle shark from 92 to 11 metric tons (t).

The Northwest Atlantic porbeagle population has been deemed “Endangered” by IUCN is estimated to need 100 years to recover from overfishing. This same species is even more depleted off Europe, where it is still targeted and overall EU quotas amount to more than 500t. EU scientists have called for an end to fishing porbeagles off Europe.

Comments are closed.