EU Ends Fisheries for Endangered Sharks

Fishing Quotas for Spurdog and Porbeagle Slashed

Brussels 15.12.09 | The Shark Alliance applauds the EU Council of Fisheries Ministers' decision to end all fishing for porbeagle sharks and reduce by 90% fishing quotas for spurdog, in line with scientific advice and proposals from the European Commission.

"These dramatic  reductions in spurdog and porbeagle quotas amount to a solid performance on the first big test of the new EU Plan of Action for Sharks", said Sonja Fordham, EU shark policy director for the Pew Environment Group and the Shark Alliance.

"Ministers have acted in line with the Plan's pledge to follow scientific advice and a precautionary approach when setting fishing limits for inherently vulnerable sharks. Ending fisheries for critically endangered porbeagle and spurdog will allow European populations to recover while enhancing the EU's ability to promote conservation of the species on a global scale", Fordham said.

Most sharks and rays can be easily overfished because they grow slowly, mature late and produce few young. Porbeagle and spurdog sharks are included on the IUCN Red List as Critically Endangered in the Northeast Atlantic.

The EU has proposed that porbeagle and spurdog sharks be listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) at the Conference of the Parties in March 2010.