Hammerhead shark1 Atlantic Tuna Commission Takes Unprecedented Action to Protect Sharks: “Particularly Pleased”

Hammerhead shark by Suneko

Shark Advocates International is giving a warm welcome to progress towards helping conserve sharks. This progress was made at the annual meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) this week.

There were a record number – six to be exact – proposals for shark measures, the parties of the ICCAT agreed to put a stop to the retention of oceanic whitetip sharks, prohibit exploiting of hammerheads, and set up a process for punishing countries who do not get with the program and accurately report catches and reduce fishing pressure on shortfin mako sharks. The proposals to stop the retention of abundant thresher and porbeagle sharks were thrown out as a measure to help ICCAT gain a stronger position to ban shark “finning” by prohibiting removing the fins of a shark at sea.

“ICCAT has taken significant steps toward safeguarding sharks this week, but much more must be done to effectively conserve this highly vulnerable species,” explained President of Shark Advocates International, Sonja Fordham, who serves on the US ICCAT Advisory Committee and has participated in ICCAT meetings since 2004. “We are particularly pleased with the agreements aimed at protecting oceanic whitetip sharks and reducing international trade in the fins of hammerhead sharks, as well as US efforts to conserve mako sharks.”

It’s good to see that progress is being made, and all parties involved are rather pleased that the meetings have gone so well so far. Hopefully, this means a better world for sharks.