The Campaign

Blue Shark & Shortfin Mako © Andy Murch.

Blue Shark & Shortfin Mako © Andy Murch.

The Shark Trust has launched its No Limits? campaign in response to the crisis posed by unlimited and escalating shark fishing pressure. With no catch limits set for many shark species, landings have soared over the past decade, placing huge pressure on shark populations. The Trust’s No Limits? campaign highlights the urgent need to introduce science-based catch limits for Blue Sharks, Shortfin Mako, Tope, smoothhounds and catsharks – species accounting for over 97% of reported Atlantic shark landings.

Unlimited Fishing

In 2012 (the most recent year data has been collated for) over 280,000 tonnes of sharks were reported landed* globally. Experts believe the actual total catch is likely to be 3 to 4 times higher. Yet many shark species can be caught and landed in unlimited numbers. The No Limits? campaign highlights the urgent need for science-based catch limits for Blue Sharks, Shortfin Mako, Tope, smoothhounds and catsharks – species currently open to unchecked exploitation and unrestricted trade.

Did you know…‘Reported landings’ versus fish caught:
Shark IconNot all fish caught by commercial fishing vessels are brought back to harbour for sale (the ‘landings’); many are ‘discarded’, mostly dead, back into the sea. The accuracy of catch and discard reporting varies widely, but experts estimate that three to four times more fish are caught and die in fishing operations than are reported as landed.

Accounting for over 40% of all global shark landings in 2012, Europe is a significant global shark fishing power with three EU Member States among the world’s top twenty shark fishing nations. In the Atlantic and Mediterranean, the EU fleet accounted for 70% of all reported shark landings between 2000 and 2012, which amounts to hundreds of thousands of tonnes, representing many millions of sharks each year. Yet there are no EU or international limits on the catch or trade of these No Limits? species.

The largest EU shark fisheries are fished by pelagic longliners on the Atlantic high seas, primarily targeting tuna and swordfish, but ‘bycatch’ of Blue Shark and Shortfin Mako dominate their landings and make the fisheries profitable.

No Limits? No Future! appeals to the public to support the adoption of science-based catch limits, before it’s too late and today’s commercially fished shark species follow other once abundant Atlantic stocks into collapse.

Why Are Limits Needed?

No Limits?

No Future!

In 2012 over 280,000t* of
sharks were reported landed
globally. The actual total
catch is likely to be 3 to 4
times higher
. EU vessels are
responsible for just over
40% of the reported
landings.

*roughly equivalent to 21,000 double decker buses.

Reported EU Landings

Atlantic & Med | To the nearest 100 Tonnes
Rollover sharks for numbers | 2000 - 2012

* conservative estimate of number of individual sharks based on reported landings

Over 97%

Of sharks caught and landed from the
Atlantic and Med are No Limits? species (2012)
(>6,400,000 sharks - conservative estimate based on reported landings)

92% Blue Shark

Percentage of reported Blue Shark landings from the Atlantic attributed to the EU fleet (2012)

(> 89% attributed to Spain)

A typical pelagic longliner sets:
3000 hooks, on 200 longlines, up to 60 miles long

Longline Fishing Boats

The largest EU shark fisheries are fished by pelagic longliners targeting tuna and swordfish.

Over
88%

of longline catches can be sharks.
In coastal waters trawlers and gillnets
also catch sharks in substantial
numbers

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

Sign the petition and support the Shark Trust's call for an end to uncontrolled shark fishing. No Limits? No Future.

SIGN PETITION
15%
57%
15%
8%
2%
0.5%
1%
0.5%
15% 57% 15% 8% 2% 1% 1% 1%

Atlantic
Shark Landings

121,370
124,140
98,894
97,751
96,776
86,932
91,998
97,073
99,876
105,858
123,576
138,739
139,736
84,709
88,149
67,871
66,871
67,518
57,332
56,549
61,300
64,254
72,285
90,152
102,502
105,527
37,432
32,473
28,345
30,416
31,534
31,938
35,853
41,393
46,698
52,801
71,746
87,694
91,329