Some hope for tope in the med

Tope (diving)The EU has finally voted in favour of strictly protecting ten threatened species of sharks and rays in the Mediterranean Sea, under the Barcelona Convention.

The species, including hammerheads, tope, and shortfin mako, have declined dramatically in numbers – some by as much as 99 per cent during the last century – while others have vanished from parts of the Mediterranean where they were once common.

Unlike in Scotland where the SSACN’s tagging programme gathered data, the next challenge in the Mediterranean is to identify exactly where these species still occur so that they may be effectively protected from commercial fishing pressure and habitat degradation.

The ten species will now be listed under Annex II of the Barcelona Convention, which requires Mediterranean countries to undertake maximum, cooperative efforts for their protection and recovery, including controlling or prohibiting their capture and sale, prohibiting damage to their habitat, and adopting measures for their conservation and recovery. They join other highly threatened shark species that are already protected under the same annex, such as great white sharks, basking sharks, and angel sharks.

Category: International, Shark Bites

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