EU plans to end some shark fishing
Six different species of shark and ray, including Spiny Dogfish, Porbeagle and Angel Sharks, which are all threatened with extinction in the North East Atlantic are hopefully on their way to being protected. The European Union is looking at stopping fishing for these three species and for three species of rays.
Spiny Dogfish are sold in fish and chips shops in the UK and are also eaten around the EU. They also have trouble reproducing and carry their young for two years, hence why it's important to conserve numbers.
The move was welcomed by the Shark Alliance whose policy director Sonja Fordham said: “These proposals demonstrate the most solid step to date toward a new, more responsible era in the management of European shark fisheries.
"We urge each and every EU Fisheries Minister to follow the Commission’s responsible lead and support proposals to eliminate catches of these beleaguered species and at last set them on the path to recovery.”
The European Council of Ministers will make final decisions on EU 2009 fishing limits in mid December.
The Commission has proposed setting total allowable catch (TAC) for spiny dogfish (or “spurdog”) and porbeagle sharks at zero and banning fishermen from keeping angel sharks, common skates, undulate rays or white skates.
Scientists have long warned of spiny dogfish population collapse and recommended zero take of the species. Fisheries often target aggregations of pregnant females as they grow larger and fetch higher prices than males.
The UK received the greatest share of 2008 EU spiny dogfish quotas which totalled 2,585 tonnes and are meant to allow for incidental catches only.
Spiny dogfish are categorised by IUCN as Critically Endangered in the Northeast Atlantic.
The current fishing quotas are too high for the Porbeagle population as well, so they cannot rebuild their numbers.
Most Porbeagles are eaten in France and Spain.