Shark Trade Limits endorsed by EU
source : SSACN Scottish Sea Anglers Conservation Network
Shark Trade Limits Endorsed by EU Sep 24th, 2009 | By ssacn | Category: Other Organisations Germany wins EU blessing to propose spiny dogfish and porbeagle sharks for listing under CITES SSACN are delighted at Monday’s decision by European Union (EU) Member States to support Germany’s proposals to provide protection for spiny dogfish sharks (Squalus acanthias) and porbeagle sharks (Lamna nasus) under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The shark proposals received unanimous support from EU Member States during the meeting of the European Commission’s Scientific Review Group (CITES Regulations) and will therefore be advanced by the EU for consideration at the next Conference of the Parties to CITES in March 2010. Fisheries generally target pregnant females resulting in severe population damage. Porbeagle meat is particularly prized in Europe while fins are exported to Asia for use in shark fin soup. Germany proposed the listings to ensure international trade in these vulnerable species is limited to sustainable levels. The Northeast and Northwest Atlantic populations of spiny dogfish and porbeagle sharks are included on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as Critically Endangered and Endangered, respectively. Still, targeted fishing is allowed to continue, often in excess of scientific advice. The EU Council sets their spiny dogfish and porbeagle catch limits in December. CITES listing would result in requirements for exporting countries to limit trade to levels that do not pose a threat to wild populations, but would have no direct effect on EU fishing quotas. EU catch limits on porbeagle and spiny dogfish are debated at the EU Fisheries and Agriculture Council each December. The European Commission has proposed EU quotas of zero for both species, but Fisheries Ministers have failed to follow this science-based advice and close fisheries. Sharks are especially vulnerable to overfishing and slow to recover from depletion because they generally Slow growing, late maturing and produce few young. Spiny dogfish( Spurdog) and Porbeagle sharks generally migrate across national boundaries, but there are no international catch limits for the species (beyond EU agreements with Norway). Norway 70 cm. & EU 100 cm. Most localised management programs have failed to rebuild populations. Parties to CITES, of which there are currently 175, meet about every two to two and a half years. The next Conference of the CITES Parties will be held in Qatar in March 2010. Proposals need a two-thirds majority to be adopted under CITES. At the last CITES Conference in 2007, Germany, on behalf of the EU, proposed the listing of the same two species but failed to achieve sufficient support. See ; http://www.ssacn.org/spurdog/fact-sheet Three shark species – White, Basking and Whale – are already listed under CITES; trade in these species is dwarfed by that in spiny dogfish(Spurdog). CITES listing (as proposed on Appendix II ) would result in requirements for exporting countries to limit trade to levels that do not pose a threat to wild populations, but would have no direct effect on EU fishing quotas. EU catch limits on Porbeagle and Spiny dogfish (Spurdog) are debated at the EU Fisheries and Agriculture Council each December. The European Commission has proposed EU quotas of zero for both species, but Fisheries Ministers have failed to follow this science-based advice and close fisheries.