A report released today by the IUCN Shark Specialist Group (SSG) and the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation reveals that the region has the highest percentage of such species assessed as Threatened in the world, due primarily to overfishing through targeted and incidental fisheries.
SSACN is a member of the Shark Alliance which is repeating its call for a strong Plan of Action to improve the status of European sharks and rays in response to new IUCN findings.
European Union (EU) resource managers, are developing an overdue Plan of Action for the conservation and management of sharks. The European Commission is expected to propose the first EU limits for porbeagle shark, identified by IUCN as “Critically Endangered” off Europe, by the end of November for consideration by EU Fisheries Ministers in December.
The report deemed 42% (30 species) of these species Threatened, of which 18% are Critically Endangered, 11% Endangered and 13% Vulnerable. Another 18% (13 species) were assessed as Near Threatened while a lack of information led to 26% (18 species) being classified as Data Deficient. Only 14% (10 species) are considered to be of Least Concern.
The Scottish Government should do something to address the £4.7 million worth of sharks were landed in Scotland.
Never before have the EU’s Mediterranean countries had more reason or opportunity to safeguard the region’s beleaguered sharks and rays.