Since 2006, researchers from Oceana Europe have visited harbors in Europe, Africa and South America, where they talked to fishermen, scientists, processors and trade companies about the current state of European shark fisheries.
Man holding a blue shark in the fish market of Pucusana, Peru. April 2007
[All photos credit: Oceana/LX]
Sharks are vulnerable species. In general, they grow slowly, mature late and produce few young over a long lifetime. Their populations typically increase at extremely low rates, leaving them exceptionally vulnerable to overexploitation and slow to recover from depletion. According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, about one-third of European shark and ray populations assessed are considered “threatened”.
While “shark finning” – the practice of slicing off a shark’s fins and discarding the body at sea – is not common practice on European Union vessels, the directed hunt for these vulnerable species still leads to overfishing and the depletion of pelagic sharks in the world’s oceans. All of this occurs without control, without a quota system and without any fisheries management measures to limit catches.
To learn more about Oceana Europe’s shark campaign, visit http://www.oceana.org/europe/what-we-do/shark-conservation/.
To learn more about Oceana North America’s shark campaign, visit http://oceana.org/sharks.