Longliners must return tope

Commercial fishermen using longlines, which are thought to take a huge amount of tope bycatch, must now return tope (and other sharks) to the sea unharmed in most European waters.

From the official journal of the EU catches taken from EU and international waters of I, IIa, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, XII and XIV with longlines of tope shark (Galeorhinus galeus), kitefin shark (Dalatias licha), bird beak dogfish (Deania calcea), leafscale gulper shark (Centrophorus squamosus), greater lanternshark (Etmopterus princeps), smooth lanternshark (Etmopterus pusillus), Portuguese dogfish (Centroscymnus coelolepis) and spurdog (Squalus acanthias) are included.

When accidentally caught, these species shall not be harmed. Specimens shall be promptly released.

This means the tope are now on the commission’s radar.

The next stage is to try and get tope quoted at the CFP talks next December.

This may seem an odd way of doing things but until a species is quoted you cannot get a reduction in their TAC (total allowable catch) !

It took three years for spurdog and porbeagle shark to get from this stage to a zero TAC but it’s another move in the right direction

Category: EU Government News

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