The Atlantic Ocean

Commercial Fishing Vessels, Killybegs © Brian Abbot.

Commercial Fishing Vessels, Killybegs © Brian Abbot.

Why the Atlantic focus?

Although countries including the US, Canada, Argentina and Brazil have large commercial fishing fleets working in the Atlantic, the EU fleet dominates shark landings from this ocean, accounting for almost 70% of all reported shark landings from the Atlantic between 2000 and 2012. And even though EU-flagged vessels fish as far afield as the Pacific and Indian Oceans, their Atlantic focus is clear: between 2000 and 2012 88% of all sharks landed globally by EU vessels were caught in the Atlantic.

Since 2005 EU fishing effort in the Atlantic has intensified, with – in particular – Spain’s landings tracking in parallel, steadily increasing from 43% in 2003 to 79% in 2012. In 2012 over 97% of the sharks reported as landed from the Atlantic by the EU fleet were No Limits? species – yet there are no EU or international limits on the catch or trade of No Limits? species. With the EU a major global shark fishing power, and the Atlantic the hub of EU fishing effort, management in the Atlantic is a vital component of sustainable shark fisheries.

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