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  • Historic Advances in International Shark and Ray Conservation
    and ray species slated for enhanced conservation initiatives The proposal to list the thresher sharks was brought by the EU Silky shark listing was proposed by Egypt Ecuador and Costa Rica jointly proposed the two hammerhead species Kenya put forward the sawfish proposal while both the reef manta and devil rays were proposed by Fiji Fifty nine of the 120 CMS Parties participated in this CoP Manta and devil rays are exceptionally vulnerable to overexploitation usually having just one pup every few years explained Ian Campbell from WWF who served on the delegation of Fiji The Appendix I listing obligates CMS Parties to ban fishing for reef manta and all devil ray species and reflects a responsible precautionary approach in light of their inherent susceptibility to depletion Listing on CMS Appendix I commits countries to strictly protect species while Appendix II listing encourages international cooperation towards conservation of shared species The rays including sawfishes were listed under both Appendices while the six shark species were added to Appendix II From hammerheads of the Galapagos to threshers in the Philippines sharks are incredibly popular attractions for divers noted Ania Budziak of Project AWARE With increasing recognition of the economic benefits of associated tourism divers voices are playing a key role in winning protections for these iconic species While consensus to advance the sawfish devil ray hammerhead and thresher shark proposals was reached in Committee Peru and Chile at the time expressed opposition to listing silky sharks on CMS Appendix II In the final plenary session however the two countries did not voice resistance thereby clearing the way for adoption We could not be more pleased that in the end all of the proposals to list sharks and rays under CMS were adopted and yet we stress that the benefits of such

    Original URL path: http://www.sharkadvocates.org/historic_advances_shark_ray_conservation.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Shark and Skate Conservation Proposals Fail at NAFO
    late night negotiations NAFO Parties agreed to maintain the thorny skate total allowable catch TAC at 7 000 metric tons t which is substantially higher than the level advised by scientists and proposed by the US 5 000t Countries did commit however to take action if skate catches rise above 5 000t Northwest Atlantic skates are targeted and taken as bycatch mainly by vessels from Spain and Portugal Canada and Russia also have quota shares based on historical catches Thorny skates which are classified by IUCN as Threatened make up the vast majority 95 of this mixed skate catch Although skate catches in recent years have been near 5 000t below the TAC the population has shown little improvement under NAFO management and is at risk if vessels from countries with skate quota allocations increase skate fishing take their allotments This risk is now heightened as NAFO decided this week to increase fishing on Greenland halibut and witch flounder species often taken together with skates Scientists have long warned that thorny skates have low reproductive capacity due to slow growth and few offspring and that this population is at a low level remarked Ali Hood of the UK s Shark Trust We are deeply disappointed that the EU opposed a reduction in the NAFO skate TAC thereby putting exceptionally vulnerable species at risk for further depletion It is now up to the EU to ensure its skate catches from this area do not increase in 2014 and to raise the priority of following NAFO scientific advice in future years 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

    Original URL path: http://www.sharkadvocates.org/shark_and_skate.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Atlantic Tuna Commission Fails Sharks Again
    the EU Egypt Guatemala Mexico Panama Senegal and the Overseas Territories of the United Kingdom We continue to be encouraged by the expanding leadership toward stronger finning bans from countries in Latin America said Alejandra Goyenechea International Counsel for Defenders of Wildlife Guatemala Mexico and Panama joining Brazil and Belize in co sponsoring the fins attached proposal demonstrates significant regional commitment and growing international momentum for this best practice An EU proposal to establish catch limits for heavily fished highly vulnerable shortfin mako sharks received general support from the U S but failed due to strong opposition from Japan China and Korea 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 are grateful for the EU s increasing efforts to secure shark conservation measures at ICCAT and yet remind officials that there is 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 safeguards 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 For the fourth year in a row Canada ensured the defeat of an EU proposal to protect porbeagle sharks Media contacts U S Liz Morley 1 843 693 5044 Europe Hannah Tarrant 44 7855 386083 Notes to Editors Shark Advocates International is a project of The Ocean Foundation working to secure science based policies for sharks and rays The Shark Trust is the UK charity working to advance the worldwide conservation of sharks through science education influence

    Original URL path: http://www.sharkadvocates.org/iccat_fails_sharks_again.html (2016-02-18)
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  • EU joins US in Effort to Strengthen Shark Finning Ban Atlantic Tuna Body
    Trust Shark fins are used in a celebratory Asian soup High demand for fins is a key driver in many shark fisheries and provides the incentive for finning ICCAT was the first international fisheries body to ban shark finning in 2004 but implementation is based on a complicated fin to body weight ratio that is difficult to enforce and hinders the collection of accurate information on shark catches Scientists recommend that sharks be landed with their fins still naturally attached as this is the most reliable method for ensuring that finning did not occur while also facilitating species specific data collection Accordingly the removal of shark fins on board vessels at sea has been prohibited by an increasing number of countries including the US many Central and South American nations and earlier this year the 28 Member States of the EU The US Brazil and the EU have offered a proposal for next week s meeting that would require that shark fins remain naturally attached to shark bodies until after they are landed on shore The US and Brazil along with Belize proposed the beneficial change at the last four ICCAT meetings In past years Japan and China have led the effort to defeat the measure We are grateful for US leadership in global shark conservation and commend the government s perseverance in efforts to end overexploitation and waste of these vital yet vulnerable species added Sonja Fordham President of Shark Advocates International Shark Trust and Shark Advocates International have collaborated for years to promote science based limits on shark fishing and trade The groups are working with colleagues in other countries to urge additional ICCAT Parties to lend their support to the fins attached proposal Of particular interest is the host country South Africa given its long history of

    Original URL path: http://www.sharkadvocates.org/eu_joins_us_in_shark_finning_ban_11-13.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Stronger Shark Finning Ban Clears Final Hurdle in EU
    from an embarrassment of loopholes to a model of best practices said Ali Hood Director of Conservation for the Shark Trust Implementation of the new fins attached regulation particularly in the EU s far reaching high volume shark fisheries represents a momentous step forward for shark conservation and the culmination of many years of targeted advocacy The EU banned finning in 2003 but the associated regulation included loopholes allowing shark fins to be removed on board and landed separately from shark bodies which hampers enforcement Requiring that shark fins remain attached to shark bodies through landing is widely acknowledged as the most reliable means for implementing finning bans This method can also yield valuable species specific catch data as sharks are harder to identify to species level once their fins have been removed Strong finning bans are fundamental to effective shark fisheries management and particularly important for shark fishing powers like the EU said Sonja Fordham President of Shark Advocates International Because of the EU s significant influence at international fisheries bodies the new fins attached regulation holds great promise for combating the wasteful practice of finning and improving our understanding of shark catches on a global scale The conservation groups stressed that finning bans alone are insufficient to save sharks and underscored their commitment to secure additional complementary safeguards including science based limits on shark catches Media contact Nick Steel nick communicationsinc co uk mob 44 7830 185072 Notes for Editors The Shark Trust is the UK charity for shark conservation working to advance the worldwide conservation of sharks through science education influence and action Shark fins are prized for use in a Chinese celebratory soup Finning is driven by discrepancy in value between fins and meat The European Commission s November 2011 proposal to end shark fin removal

    Original URL path: http://www.sharkadvocates.org/stronger_shark_fin_ban_clears_eu.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Shark Finning Loopholes Widened by Atlantic States Commission
    to carcass ratio a difficult to enforce standard allowed only for this one species thereby substantially increasing wiggle room for undetected finning of smooth dogfish and similar looking coastal shark species This reckless decision to take a giant step backwards in shark finning prevention comes at a time when countries around the world including shark fishing powers like Spain and Taiwan are adopting more stringent rules to guard against this wasteful and indefensible practice said Sonja Fordham President of Shark Advocates International We now call on East coast residents to urge their individual state representatives to correct this irresponsible move by immediately applying strict finning rules in their waters Mid Atlantic landings of smooth dogfish also known as smoothhounds more than doubled between 2000 2011 The species is the only Atlantic shark that is targeted by fishermen and yet not subject to population assessment or catch limits U S Atlantic fishermen land more smooth dogfish than any other shark species except for spiny dogfish Fin to carcass ratios are notoriously difficult to enforce The National Marine Fisheries Service switched from ratios to the best practice for finning ban enforcement leaving the fins attached through landing in 2008 With U S encouragement a growing number of countries are adopting fins attached rules The U S has been a world leader in the battle to end shark finning but this dismantling of state shark finning rules calls that leadership role into question said John F Calvelli Executive Vice President for Wildlife Conservation Society The ASMFC decision opens an enormous loophole for the finning of smooth dogfish and other shark species U S dogfish are mostly exported for meat used in fish and chips and fins used in shark fin soup The conservation groups pledged to continue to press for fins attached rules

    Original URL path: http://www.sharkadvocates.org/shark_finning_loopholes_5-13.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Stronger Shark Finning Ban Endorsed in Landslide Vote by European Parliament
    s influence at international fisheries bodies this action holds great promise for combating this wasteful practice on a global scale The EU banned finning in 2003 but the associated regulation includes loopholes that allow shark fins to be removed on board and landed separately from shark bodies which hampers enforcement We owe so much of our success to the tens of thousands of divers across Europe who voiced their concern for sharks said Suzanne Pleydell Director for Project AWARE Foundation in Europe By demonstrating the economic benefits of sound shark stewardship divers brought new EU Member States to the debate to support a stronger finning policy that reflects the values of the entire European Union not just its shark fishing powers Parliament s final report now goes to the EU Council of Ministers and Commission as part of the process to finalize the regulation Conservation groups stressed that finning bans alone are insufficient to save sharks Strong finning bans are fundamental to effective shark fisheries management and particularly important for shark fishing powers like the EU but our work is far from done said Sonja Fordham President of Shark Advocates International We urge swift finalization of the amended finning regulation and remain committed to securing additional complementary safeguards including science based limits on shark catch and trade The groups are turning their sights to the next big battleground for sharks the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species whose Parties meet in March to consider proposals to list commercially valuable threatened shark species including porbeagles hammerheads and oceanic whitetips Proponents for listing include the EU and U S Media contact Liz Morley 1 843 693 5044 or Hannah Tarrant hannah sharktrust org Notes for Editors The Shark Trust is the UK charity for shark conservation working to advance the worldwide

    Original URL path: http://www.sharkadvocates.org/stronger_shark_finning_ban_in_eu.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Atlantic Tuna Commission Fails Sharks
    S and Brazil blocked China s attempt to overturn ICCAT s ban on sale of oceanic whitetip sharks The U S Belize and Brazil were unsuccessful in their fourth attempt to strengthen the ICCAT finning ban by replacing the current fin to carcass weight ratio limit with a prohibition on removing fins at sea The proposal received general support from Taiwan but was strongly opposed by China Japan and Korea The European Parliament will vote this Thursday on a European Commission proposal to end shark fin removal at sea while porbeagles and oceanic whitetip sharks have been proposed for listing at the March 2013 meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species CITES by the EU and the U S respectively We are particularly disappointed in ICCAT s repeated failure to heed scientific advice and set limits on exceptionally vulnerable and valuable mako sharks and yet encourage the U S and EU to continue to strive for this important goal said Sonja Fordham President of Shark Advocates International We are hopeful that the U S and EU will succeed in securing CITES measures to bolster ICCAT s oceanic whitetip shark protection and compensate for ICCAT s failure to safeguard porbeagle sharks and that the EU will soon join the U S in promoting stronger shark finning bans on a global scale ICCAT Parties did not reach consensus on Japan s proposal to expand data collection on sharks but did accept the EU s aim to require reports on implementation of the shark measures adopted at ICCAT from 2004 2011 by next year s annual meeting Media contact EAC s Shannon Arnold sharnold ecologyaction ca or SAI s Liz Morley 1 843 693 5044 Notes to Editors Based in Washington DC Shark Advocates International SAI is a project of

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