(DOHA)— The Parties to CITES today listed the Porbeagle shark (Lamna nasus) on Appendix II of the Convention, shortly after rejecting two previous shark listing proposals. The request by Palau and Sweden, on behalf of the EU, should help bring a degree of control to a virtually unregulated trade and reduce the risk of further over-exploitation of the species.
“This large shark, found in temperate and cold waters, suffers from over-fishing by long-line fisheries to meet the demand for its meat and fins,” said Rebecca Regnery, Deputy Director of Wildlife for Humane Society International, a member of the Species Survival Network. “The evidence is very clear. Stocks have been decimated and the tonnage actually landed has collapsed from thousands of tonnes a year to a few hundred annually in just 50 years. In December 2009, the European Union announced a zero Total Allowable Catch for 2010 as a sign of how serious the situation has become.”
The measure was supported by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, which identified Porbeagle as a species with low prospects for productivity and the IUCN lists the species as ‘Vulnerable’.
Fins for Chinese shark fin soup are frequently found within trade as well as leather and liver oil.
“Trade records are generally not available for this species,” concluded Regnery. “In addition, international trade levels, patterns and trends are largely unknown. Listing on Appendix II of the Convention will help provide the kind of controls and monitoring that could prevent the species’ continued decline.”