With no catch limits set for many shark species, landings have soared over recent decades, placing huge pressure on shark populations. Launched in 2014, the Trust’s No Limits? campaign highlighted the urgent need to introduce science-based catch limits for Blue Sharks, Shortfin Mako, Tope, smoothhounds and catsharks – species accounting for over 97% of reported Atlantic shark landings.
In 2017 No Limits? is having a Mako’ver! Launching this #SharkAwarenessDay the Shark Trust is continuing its quest to stop uncontrolled shark fishing in the Atlantic high-seas. But this year we’re shifting our focus to Shortfin Mako – an exceptionally vulnerable species caught with no limits.
Why a Mako’ver? Mako Sharks are caught in the same longline fisheries as Blue Shark. And while Blues are caught in staggering volumes, accounting for ~80% of the landings in certain Atlantic fisheries, their life-history characteristics (maturing relatively young, at 6yrs, and producing a higher number of pups, between 4-135) suggest that with appropriate science-based management Blue Shark could support a sustainable fishery. Indeed Blue Shark fisheries are increasingly important as a valued food source in a number of global regions where sources of protein are few.
Mako sharks are caught in far lower numbers than Blues – reported by Spanish longliners as accounting for ~10% of shark landings by their Atlantic longline fleet. Yet their conservative life-history – maturing late (18yrs) and producing few young (4-25 pups) –leaves them exceptionally vulnerable to over-exploitation. The retention of mako in these fisheries is driven by the high demand for their meat whose quality is considered to rival swordfish, a species also in decline.
It’s time to step up!
With new scientific advice on the table, this November brings a critical opportunity to protect mako from overfishing in the Atlantic.
We’re calling on the European Commission to win the first international fishing limits for
Shortfin Mako, based on new scientific advice.
It’s now make or break for these sharks. Time to step up, and you can help.
Sign, then share – the more signatures, the more pressure we can exert!
Let’s stop uncontrolled shark fishing now!