So Far…

EU catch limits implemented for Spiny Dogfish in 2010 © Lill Haugen.

EU catch limits implemented for Spiny Dogfish in 2010 © Lill Haugen.

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 the finning of sharks (shark finning is defined as the removal of shark fins at sea and discarding of the carcass). However the regulation contains 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 in July 2013, 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 and beyond…
    The landscape of shark conservation has changed dramatically over the past decade; however management remains focused on a limited number of species. To prevent the collapse of further ‘commercial’ shark populations, science-based management is required now.

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