While the EU has begun to address over-exploitation by its fleet – including limiting fisheries for especially vulnerable shark species – it remains a global shark fishing power responsible for significant landings of predominantly unmanaged species. The EU does, however, have the capacity to improve management in its own waters and can also be influential within the Regional Fisheries Management Organisations who are responsible for regulating fisheries on the high-seas. Notable dates include:
2003 – EU bans shark finning
The EU adopts a regulation banning shark finning (the removal of shark fins and discarding of the carcass at sea). However the regulation contained a loophole providing an opportunity for shark finning to continue undetected and unpunished.
2009 – EU shark management plan
The EU finally adopts the Community Plan of Action-Sharks (CPOA-shark). Reviewing the European shark finning regulation is noted as an action to be implemented without delay.
2013 – Fins naturally attached
The requirement to land sharks with their fins naturally attached finally comes into force, establishing best-practice for the EU fleet worldwide, and representing the culmination of well over ten years work for the Shark Trust and our colleagues.
2014 – No Limits? launches
With the support of campaign Ambassador Steve Backshall and UK Fisheries Minister George Eustice the Shark Trust launched No Limits?
2015 – Proposals for No Limits? species
The EU’s presents proposals at ICCAT for Blue shark and Shortfin Mako Atlantic high-seas management, proposals do not gain necessary traction and fisheries remain unlimited.
2016 – Baby Steps for Blues
An EU proposal, countered by Japan, leads to adoption of a modest measure for Blue Shark at ICCAT.
2017 – Mako’ver
This year should provide an unprecedented opportunity for mako, with new scientific advice to underpin management recommendations – time for the EU Commission to step-up. Sign our petition!