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  • Mixed Results for Sharks at Atlantic Tuna Commission Meeting | Shark Finning | Shark Advocates International
    an EU proposal to protect porbeagle sharks failed due to opposition from Canada the only Party with a targeted fishery for the species Belize Brazil and the US were unsuccessful in their third 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 China Japan and South Africa spoke in opposition to the measure Shark fins are used in a traditional celebratory Chinese soup High demand for fins drives many shark fisheries and provides incentive for finning Many shark species particularly porbeagles and shortfin makos are also sought for their meat ICCAT has called for reductions in mako fishing but has yet to limit mako catches ICCAT adopted protections for bigeye thresher sharks in 2009 and protections for oceanic whitetip and hammerhead sharks in 2010 We urge ICCAT Parties to promptly implement the silky shark measure as well as previously agreed ICCAT safeguards for sharks and to propose protections for mako sharks and other vulnerable species at next year s ICCAT meeting added Fordham Notes to Editors Shark Advocates International SAI is a project of The Ocean Foundation established to advance sound policies for sharks and rays Based on nearly 20 years of shark conservation achievement SAI uses its expertise to secure science based limits on shark fishing and trade protection for endangered species and stronger bans on finning SAI President Sonja Fordham serves on the US ICCAT Advisory Committee and has participated in ICCAT meetings since 2004 The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas ICCAT is responsible for the conservation of tunas and tuna like species in the Atlantic Ocean and adjacent seas The Convention entered into force in 1969 ICCAT currently reports 48 Contracting Parties including the European Union Only seven

    Original URL path: http://www.sharkadvocates.org/mixed_results_for_sharks.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Small Steps for Shark and Skate Conservation taken at NAFO | Shark Advocates International
    advised catch reduction over two years 8 500t in 2012 while the EU proposed adopting the scientific advice right away 2012 but in a free for all manner that favored European fishermen The US had proposed a 5 000t quota for 2012 through across the board allocation reductions Parties pledged to reconsider scientific advice for skates next year Northwest Atlantic skates are fished mainly by vessels from Spain Portugal Canada and Russia Thorny skates make up the vast majority 95 of this mixed skate species catch more than half of which is taken by Spanish fishing vessels Thorny skates are classified as Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN NAFO scientists have long warned that thorny skates have very low reproductive capacity due to slow growth and few offspring and that their population is at a low level they have been advising NAFO Parties to roughly halve thorny skate catches since 2008 At the 2010 NAFO meeting the EU Canada and the US committed to develop measures in line with skate scientific advice in 2011 Recent reported skate catches have actually been well under NAFO quotas Spanish fishermen stand to be the most directly affected by cuts while Canada is focused on preserving future fishing opportunities Table summarizing recent NAFO catches advice and decisions with respect to skates Contacting Party Skate Quota Share 2005 2007 Quotas t 2010 Skate Quotas t Reported 2010 Skate Catches t NEW 2012 Quotas t Scientific Advice t Canada 16 67 2 250 2 000 50 1 417 EU 62 96 8 500 7 556 5 223 5 352 Russia 16 67 2 250 2 000 91 1 417 Others 3 7 500 444 315 Total 100 13 500 12 000 5 364 8 500 5 000 The US also proposed to

    Original URL path: http://www.sharkadvocates.org/small_steps_for_shark_skate_conservation.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Big Day in European Shark Conservation | Shark Finning Ban | Shark Advocates International
    came from Commission headquarters in Brussels Today the EU has taken two major steps for sharks that demonstrate continued progress in European policy and offer new hope for safeguarding these vulnerable species on a global scale said Sonja Fordham President of Shark Advocates International who is attending the CMS meeting We call on the EU Council and Parliament to promptly adopt the European Commission s finning ban proposal and encourage all fishing nations to fully engage in ensuring CMS shark conservation initiatives succeed The CMS Shark MoU was completed in early 2010 to promote conservation of migratory sharks particularly the seven threatened species listed under the global CMS treaty great white whale basking shortin mako longfin mako spiny dogfish Northern hemisphere and porbeagle sharks More than 20 CMS Parties and cooperating non Parties such as the United States have now signed the Shark MoU Beyond more MoU signatories next steps include finalization of an accompanying action plan and a meeting of the signatories Later this week CMS Parties will also consider a proposal from Ecuador to list manta rays similarly vulnerable relatives of sharks under the CMS Appendices CMS has 116 Parties After years of debate the European Commission has proposed an amendment to the EU shark finning ban that would close loopholes stemming from special permits that allow fishermen to remove shark fins at sea Mandating that all shark fins remain attached through landing as proposed by the Commission is the most reliable way to prevent finning The fins naturally attached policy is supported by most conservationists and scientists and is in place for most U S and Central American fisheries it has been opposed by officials in Spain whose fishermen rank 3rd in the world for shark catches The Commission s proposal will now be considered by the

    Original URL path: http://www.sharkadvocates.org/big_day_in_european_shark_conservation.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks Declared Overfished in U.S. Atlantic | Shark Advocates International
    for the next steps toward safeguarding this exceptionally vulnerable species said Shark Advocates International President Sonja Fordham a member of the NMFS Advisory Committee for highly migratory fish and a longtime proponent of hammerhead shark protection We urge the fisheries service to treat needed hammerhead conservation measures as top priorities Scalloped hammerhead sharks are among the most threatened of the world s highly migratory shark species The IUCN International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies the species as Endangered globally Hammerhead fins are prized for use in shark fin soup an Asian celebratory dish Moreso than many other shark species hammerheads tend to die quickly when caught on fishing lines or in nets Most are dead before they make it to the boat whether or not fishermen intend to keep them An independent assessment published in 2009 found that the U S Atlantic scalloped hammerhead shark population in 2005 was less than half the level associated with sustainable long term fishing and that catches at the time were too high to allow the population to recover within 10 years NMFS has determined that this assessment is a complete and appropriate basis for management action Shark Advocates International is calling for

    Original URL path: http://www.sharkadvocates.org/scalloped_hammerhead.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Indian Ocean Tuna Commission Fails Sharks | Shark Advocates International
    reporting of shark catch data for any of eight categories recommended by scientists The complete failure of Indian Ocean fishing nations to agree even the most basic measures for the region s most endangered sharks is deeply distressing and does not bode well for the future of these highly vulnerable and heavily fished species said Sonja Fordham President of Shark Advocates International who attended the meeting as an observer We thank the European Union and Australia for their valiant efforts to secure shark safeguards this week and encourage their persistence in carrying this work forward to next year s meeting The European Union EU had proposed protections for hammerhead and oceanic whitetip sharks and earned support from Australia and the United Kingdom Most developing countries particularly India and Pakistan opposed protecting hammerheads Japan led the charge to defeat the oceanic whitetip ban despite championing the same measure at the tuna commission for the Atlantic Australia and the EU proposed expanding the list of sharks for which fishing data collection is mandatory by eight categories as recommended by IOTC scientists Opposition from China the Republic of Korea and Japan led to a compromise to collect data on fewer shark species but the deal fell through after Maldives Sri Lanka and India objected to the larger data collection package The fins of hammerhead and oceanic whitetip sharks are prized for use in shark fin soup a celebratory Asian dish Scalloped hammerheads classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN as Endangered are heavily fished even as pups and very often finned according to IOTC scientists Australia had also proposed changing the enforcement rules for the IOTC finning ban by requiring that fins be attached to shark bodies at landing Conservationist groups support leaving the fins on but opposed options for

    Original URL path: http://www.sharkadvocates.org/indian_ocean_tu.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Scientists Spotlight Western & Central Pacific Sharks | Shark Advocates International
    a combination of conservation concern and data availability The WCPFC Scientific Committee is recommending that porbeagle sharks and four species of hammerheads be added to that list To date the region s only international shark population assessment is for blue sharks With good reason safeguards for sharks particularly makos threshers oceanic whitetips hammerheads and porbeagles are increasingly being considered by other regional fisheries bodies as well as in global wildlife forums said Sonja Fordham President of Shark Advocates International a non profit conservation group We encourage the WCPFC to also elevate the conservation priority of sharks heed the advice from their scientists and consider precautionary limits to prevent overfishing of these highly vulnerable species Last month the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas adopted measures to protect oceanic whitetip sharks limit fishing for hammerheads and improve mako catch data Proposals to list oceanic whitetip porbeagle and hammerhead sharks under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species were defeated in March 2010 Notes to Editors Notes to Editors Shelley Clarke a specialist in shark fisheries and the shark fin trade is Shark Assessment Scientist at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community the Scientific Services Provider to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission The WCPFC is an international fisheries governing body aimed at ensuring conservation and sustainable use of highly migratory fish in the western and central Pacific Ocean WCPFC members include Australia China Canada Cook Islands European Union Federated States of Micronesia Fiji France Japan Kiribati Korea Republic of Marshall Islands Nauru New Zealand Niue Palau Papua New Guinea Philippines Samoa Solomon Islands Chinese Taipei Tonga Tuvalu United States of America and Vanuatu Belize Indonesia Senegal Mexico El Salvador Ecuador and Vietnam are cooperating non members Seven Territories American Samoa Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands French

    Original URL path: http://www.sharkadvocates.org/scientists_spot.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Sherman the Shark Takes Stand Against Finning | Shark Advocates International
    their favorite shark species to the head of the Fisheries Service and asking him to ensure that the US pushes the shark conservation agenda internationally explained Jim Toomey creator of Sherman s Lagoon Through my comic strip I have become keenly aware of the growing public concern for sharks particularly people s disgust over the wasteful practice of shark finning I am confident that my readers in large numbers will jump at the chance to help secure better protections for these magnificent predators Finning is driven by demand for shark fins for use in a traditional Chinese soup The best way to stop finning is to prohibit fishermen from removing fins at sea Many shark species are also sought for their meat across their vast ranges and yet there are no international catch limits for sharks The US is a world leader in shark conservation but the work has just begun said Sonja Fordham President of Shark Advocates International Sherman and his followers make excellent ambassadors for encouraging country officials to safeguard sharks on a global scale Toomey is hoping that the Fisheries Service will receive thousands of hand drawn sharks by November as a result of the cartoon Notes

    Original URL path: http://www.sharkadvocates.org/sherman_the_sha.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Largetooth Sawfish Proposed as Endangered Species | Shark Advocates International
    of the plight of all sawfish species Sawfish are shark like rays characterized by long tooth studded snouts Individuals range in size from 2 to 20 feet and can weigh more than 1 000 pounds Like most sharks and rays sawfish are exceptionally vulnerable to overexploitation due to their slow growth late maturity and small number of young All seven species worldwide are classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN as Critically Endangered The only other sawfish species native to the US smalltooth sawfish Pristis pectinata was listed under the ESA in 2003 The biggest threats to sawfish are incidental take or bycatch in fishing gear particularly shrimp trawls and degradation of nearshore habitats Sawfish saws are sold as curios their fins are prized for shark fin soup In 2007 a US proposal led to the listing of all sawfish species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species CITES international trade is essentially banned for all but one species freshwater sawfish Pristis microdon If the proposal to list largetooth sawfish under the ESA is finalized the US will grant the species strong federal protections and encourage other range countries to take similar steps NMFS may also develop a recovery plan for the species but is unlikely to designate largetooth sawfish critical habitat because US waters are thought to represent the fringe of the species range Shark Advocates International supports the proposal to list largetooth sawfish under the ESA as well as National protection for all species of sawfish in all countries within their ranges Greater observer coverage in shrimp fisheries of the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Fishing closures for areas found to be hotspots for sawfish bycatch Up listing of freshwater sawfish from Appendix II to Appendix I of CITES and Priority for

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