Progress on shark conservation

There has been some good news (and a little bad news) in the shark fishing regulation world recently.  I am especially happy about the announcement by NOAA that it will greatly limit shark fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and in the Atlantic ocean, primarily to reduce catch of ducky dusky and black tip sharks (more here).  Additionally, the EU closed a loophole that will decrease shark finning (more here):

The barbaric practice of slicing off the fins of sharks and discarding the live bodies at sea will be outlawed following a historic vote in the European parliament on Thursday. MEPs voted overwhelmingly 566 to 47 to close a legal loophole and ban finning despite opposition from Spain and Portugal.

The EU, which is one of the largest exporters of shark fins to Asia, banned finning in 2003, but in a loophole, companies with freezer vessels applied for “special fishing permits” which allowed them to continue if they landed the fins separately from the bodies. The issuing of these permits has became standard practice, making a mockery of the law.

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