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.