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  • The Year in Review & the Road Ahead
    fortune to take part in crucial research on endangered sawfish in both Australia s Northern Territory and Florida in 2013 She welcomed opportunities to present SAI s perspective at key conferences in cities such as Albuquerque Plymouth Bangkok Monterey and Dakar as well as through scientific papers the media blogs and numerous advisory panels From Virginia to New Zealand SAI engaged a variety of partners to jointly comment on emerging shark and ray policies The SAI Twitter account was established in February and has since attracted more than 2400 followers Of course 2013 was not without disappointments The year saw a serious setback for Atlantic state shark finning rules as well as defeat for several shark conservation proposals at the annual meeting of the International Commission for Conservation of Atlantic Tunas In addition US Atlantic smooth dogfish winter skates and cownose rays remain under protected from overfishing while government plans to rebuild thorny skates and dusky sharks are not succeeding as anticipated SAI will continue to address these challenges in 2014 and also build on past progress to ensure Launch and promotion of the new IUCN global strategy for sawfish conservation New EU quotas for several heavily fished unprotected European

    Original URL path: http://www.sharkadvocates.org/2013_review.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Conserving the Flat Sharks | Shark Advocates International
    pushing the EU to extend these new protections to include the main European guitarfish habitat the Mediterranean Sea Meanwhile in the US federal officials are considering listing several species of sawfish shark like rays characterized by long tooth studded snouts under the Endangered Species Act ESA All the world s sawfish species are categorized by IUCN as Critically Endangered and international commercial trade in all but one species is banned The remaining US species the smalltooth sawfish Pristis pectinata was listed under the ESA in 2003 and recovery planning is underway SAI serves on the recovery team and is advocating for better monitoring of shrimp fisheries off western Florida that have taken sawfish recently Some would say that the thorny skate lacks charisma but this species Amblyraja radiata is the subject of the world s only international fishing quota for species in the shark and ray Class under the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization NAFO and a prohibition on take in the US Atlantic Thorny skates have however yet to recover since these measures were instituted in 2004 and are still classified by IUCN as Threatened Critically Endangered off New England The NAFO quota is about twice the level advised by

    Original URL path: http://www.sharkadvocates.org/conserving_flat_sharks.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Protecting sharks from unsustainable trade: All eyes on CITES | Shark Advocates International
    use in traditional Chinese shark fin soup Colombia and the U S are leading the effort to secure CITES protections for this species which has suffered steep declines in the Atlantic Pacific and Indian oceans Porbeagle sharks are prized for their meat particularly in Europe as well as their fins The porbeagle proposal comes from the European Union EU and is cosponsored by Brazil Comoros and Egypt The EU has closed its fisheries for porbeagle but the species is still targeted in Canada and taken incidentally in some North Atlantic and Southern hemisphere pelagic fisheries Due largely to the exceptionally high value of their fins hammerheads are among the most threatened of the wide ranging sharks The three largest species scalloped great and smooth hammerheads have been proposed for CITES listing by Brazil Mexico Ecuador Costa Rica Honduras Croatia and the European Union Manta rays are increasingly sought for their gill rakers the structures that support their gills which are used in Chinese medicine Mantas are among the least productive of the rays typically giving birth to only one pup every 2 3 years Ecuador and Brazil have co sponsored the proposal to add the manta genus to CITES Appendix II The freshwater sawfish found in coastal areas as well as in rivers and bays is among the world s most imperiled fish In 2007 when all other sawfish species were listed under CITES Appendix I Australia secured clearance to export live specimens of freshwater sawfish for the aquarium trade under Appendix II Australia has since determined that this trade may be detrimental to the population and is seeking to transfer the species to CITES Appendix I Under the International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN Red List of Threatened Species the oceanic whitetip shark porbeagle both manta rays and

    Original URL path: http://www.sharkadvocates.org/protecting_shark_cites.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Strengthening Europe's Finning Ban | Shark Advocates International
    SAI has been working with the European members of the Shark Alliance and scientists to fix the EU finning regulation by instituting a complete prohibition on removing shark fins at sea as required for most US and Central American shark fisheries Portugal France and particularly Spain are home to some of the world s largest widest ranging shark fishing fleets and thus EU shark fishing regulations have a global impact SAI is part of a growing conservation chorus promoting the fins naturally attached method with which to properly enforce the EU finning ban and facilitate collection of key species specific information on shark catches The process for amending the EU finning ban has taken many years and the final decisions have the potential to vastly improve regional and international shark fisheries management but the battle is far from won Influential fishing industry interests from Spain are pushing for changes that could relax rather than strengthen existing safeguards In November the European Commission at long last released its final proposal for amending the EU finning regulation and we are delighted to report that it follows conservationists requests The proposal will be considered over the coming months by EU fisheries ministers and

    Original URL path: http://www.sharkadvocates.org/strengthening_finning_ban.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Endangered Sawfish: IUCN Strategy Released as Global Protection Proposed
    entangled in many types of fishing gear particularly trawls and gillnets The destruction of key habitats such as mangroves also poses a threat to sawfish survival Although these species are perilously close to extinction in many regions there are some fairly simple ways to help populations recover For example we know that sawfish can actually survive capture quite well if handled properly and hence basic education of commercial subsistence and recreational fishers is central to our conservation strategy said Dr Colin Simpfendorfer IUCN SSG Co Chair Professor of Environmental Science at James Cook University in Queensland who led the development of the US recovery plan that has improved the status of smalltooth sawfish in Florida To compliment an existing ban on commercial international sawfish trade the Strategy calls for national and regional actions to prohibit intentional killing of sawfish minimize mortality of accidental catches protect sawfish habitats and ensure effective enforcement of such safeguards The document also lays out actions associated with effective communications capacity building strategic research and responsible husbandry as well as fundraising to ensure implementation Over the last decade sawfish conservation policies have greatly improved in several countries and globally but much more action is urgently needed to safeguard these magnificent animals said Sonja Fordham IUCN SSG Deputy Chair and President of Washington DC based Shark Advocates International a project of The Ocean Foundation We are extremely pleased that Guinea Bissau and Guinea will propose sawfish for listing under the Convention on Migratory Species as this treaty offers an excellent framework for prompting national protection in many priority sawfish range states and for implementing our global strategy on a regional basis The Strategy is the result of a 2012 SSG workshop where the world s sawfish experts developed a global sawfish conservation vision goals and prioritized actions The document also includes information on sawfish biology distribution cultural value history of exploitation current threats regional status accounts and conservation policies compiled by leading authorities Media inquiries contact Nick Steel nick communicationsinc co uk tel 44 78 301 850 72 Notes for Editors The IUCN SSG Sawfish Strategy an infographic regional fact sheets and photos are available for download at http www dulvy com global sawfish conservation strategy html The Sharks International Conference is being hosted by Kwa Zulu Natal Sharks Board and will feature multiple presentations on sawfish biology and conservation by experts from around the world Sawfish feature prominently in folklore from places such as Panama Papua New Guinea and Borneo They have been particularly important to West African cultures where they symbolize justice and appear on regional currency Sawfish rostra are universally valued as curios and have been used in traditional medicine in many countries including Mexico Brazil Kenya Iran India and China The rostral teeth are prized as cockfighting spurs in Latin America and the Caribbean Sawfish meat is consumed in some places sawfish fins are exceptionally valuable for shark fin soup in Asia The species also serve as popular aquarium attractions The SSG is

    Original URL path: http://www.sharkadvocates.org/endangered_sawfish_6-14.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Japan Blocks 4 out of 5 Shark Conservation Proposals at Atlantic Tuna Meeting
    was thwarted despite co sponsorship from a majority of ICCAT Parties Japan led the charge to defeat the seventh attempt to strengthen the ICCAT finning ban A record high number of Parties proposed replacing the problematic fin to carcass weight ratio with a more enforceable prohibition on removing fins at sea The fins attached proposal gained 16 co sponsors at this year s meeting including Russia Venezuela Tunisia and Nigeria for a total of 30 Parties The US EU and Senegal all vowed to continue to promote the change The US also secured a 2016 ICCAT review of finning ban implementation We are appalled that Japan has summarily dismissed appeals for a stronger ICCAT finning ban made by a growing number of countries developed and developing from all across the Atlantic said Ania Budziak Associate Director for Project AWARE We are also particularly dismayed that Canada and Mexico chose not to co sponsor the effort to mandate this best practice of banning at sea shark fin removal The EU and US jointly proposed the establishment of ICCAT catch limits for highly vulnerable shortfin mako sharks The proposal was questioned by Namibia and Uruguay and then blocked by Japan ICCAT scientists have recommended measures to ensure shortfin mako fishing does not increase The EU and US also cooperated on a proposal to cap landings of heavily fished blue sharks based on a recent population assessment Japan s request to increase proposed South Atlantic catch levels by 32 was accepted by the EU but rejected as excessive by the US and Norway resulting in no action being taken for the species We are once again deeply disappointed that ICCAT did not reach consensus to cap landings of blue and mako sharks species that lack basic limits even in the main fishing nation of Spain said Ali Hood Director of Conservation for the Shark Trust We leave this meeting frustrated yet all the more determined to continue the campaign to end uncontrolled fishing of oceanic sharks under ICCAT and within the EU Japan also led the effort to defeat an EU proposal to prohibit take of common thresher sharks After six years of Canada blocking EU attempts to prohibit take of porbeagle sharks the two Parties compromised on a measure that encourages live release and could trigger action if landings increase Notes to Editors Shark Advocates International is a project of The Ocean Foundation dedicated to securing science based policies for sharks and rays The Shark Trust is a UK charity working to advance the worldwide conservation of sharks through science education influence and action Focused on sharks in peril and marine debris Project AWARE is a growing movement of scuba divers protecting the ocean planet one dive at a time Humane Society International is an animal protection organization working throughout in the world to protect all animals Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities Shark fins are used in a celebratory

    Original URL path: http://www.sharkadvocates.org/iccat_2015_press_release_11-17.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Progress Toward a Stronger Shark Finning Ban at NAFO
    Sonja Fordham of Shark Advocates International We are extremely pleased that this week Cuba and Norway joined the growing chorus of countries calling for adoption of this best practice as a cornerstone of responsible shark fisheries management NAFO banned shark finning in 2005 but allows shark fins to be removed at sea and stored separately from shark carcasses onboard as long as the fin to carcass weight ratio does not exceed 5 Using ratios to enforce finning bans has proved complicated and difficult but ratios remain on the books in countries like Canada and Japan The EU replaced its ratio limit with a complete ban on at sea shark fin removal in 2013 We are deeply grateful for EU leadership in promoting fins attached rules worldwide said Ali Hood of the UK based Shark Trust We urge expanded efforts to demonstrate the method s success and continued work to increase the number of countries co sponsoring these important initiatives in international fishery arenas Conservation groups are expecting that a multi national proposal for an international ban on at sea shark fin removal will again be debated at the November meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas ICCAT in Malta We now look to the ICCAT meeting for continuing to build the global momentum toward stronger finning bans added Ania Budziak of Project AWARE We are hopeful that growing support from various constituent groups including increasingly engaged divers over the coming months will help ensure additional progress toward safeguarding sharks Cuba will host the 2016 NAFO annual meeting next September There in addition to likely again debating finning of sharks parties will set quotas for closely related skates The main target of the region s skate fisheries the thorny or starry skate Amblyraja radiata is listed by

    Original URL path: http://www.sharkadvocates.org/progress_toward.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Atlantic Fishery Managers Fail Sharks Yet Again
    the fins attached measure from Japan and China that continues to thwart the collaborative work of a growing number of Parties said Rosa Indenbaum International Conservation Legal Fellow for Defenders of Wildlife The US and the EU collaborated to jointly propose initial catch limits for heavily fished highly vulnerable shortfin mako sharks and were supported by Guinea Senegal and Mauritania Proposed limits were opposed by Japan Brazil Uruguay and Norway ICCAT scientists have recommended measures to ensure shortfin mako fishing does not increase yet makos are not subject to quotas under ICCAT or through the main Atlantic mako fishing nations of Spain and Portugal We thank the EU for working to secure shark conservation measures at ICCAT and yet remind officials that there is still much work to do for sharks in Europe said Ali Hood Director of Conservation for Shark Trust We encourage the European Commission to boost its case for ICCAT action for sharks by establishing EU limits on oceanic sharks especially makos and by demonstrating for Asian delegations that the fins attached method is feasible for large scale high seas freezer fleets using examples from Spain Canada once again ensured defeat for an EU proposal to protect porbeagle sharks Over the five years that the two Parties have been arguing about Canada s landings porbeagle take by Japanese vessels operating in the Atlantic has been rising putting Japan in the lead for landings of this species Media contacts US Liz Morley 1 843 693 5044 Europe Hannah Tarrant 44 7855 386083 Notes to Editors Shark Advocates International is a Washington DC based project of The Ocean Foundation dedicated to securing science based policies for sharks and rays Also based in Washington Defenders of Wildlife works to protect animals and plants native to North America The Shark Trust

    Original URL path: http://www.sharkadvocates.org/atlantic_fishery_fails_sharks_again.html (2016-02-18)
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