While the global spotlight has put much attention on the plight of the bluefin tuna, many species of high value sharks are in even more dire straits say marine biologists.
At least 1.3 million sharks, many listed as endangered, were harvested from the Atlantic. The actual figure may be much higher due to under reporting, the study said.
Under the UN convention on the Law of the Sea, ‘highly migratory’ sharks must be managed by international bodies.
The 48 member of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) who convened in Paris last November 27, of this year is charged with ensuring that commercial fisheries are sustainable. It has the authority to set catch quotas and restrictions.
“Sharks are virtually unmanaged at the international level,” said Elizabeth Griffin Wilson of Oceana, a group advocacy. “ICCAT has a responsibility to protect our oceans top predators.”
Of the 21 species found in the Atlantic, three quarters are classified as threatened with extinction.