EU gives shark protection teeth (BBC News)

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EU gives shark protection teeth

By Richard Black
Environment correspondent, BBC News website


The removal of fins for use in Chinese and other East Asian cuisines has increased the economic value of some shark species.

The European Commission has unveiled measures aimed at protecting sharks, many of which are in sharp decline.

The proposals would close loopholes in current shark finning regulations, cut catches of endangered species and set quotas according to scientific advice.

About half of ocean-going shark species are threatened with extinction.

Conservation groups have given a mixed reaction to the commission's proposals, which now go to the European Parliament and Council of Ministers for approval.

"The plan is a great step forwards for the conservation of sharks in European waters and beyond," said Sonja Fordham, policy director of the Shark Alliance, a coalition of organisations representing conservation, science and recreational interests.

"The commitments to science-based fishing limits, endangered species protection, and a stronger finning ban are essential to securing a brighter future for some of Europe's most vulnerable and neglected animals."

The regulations will also apply to sharks' close relatives, skates and rays.

But the Madrid-based conservation group Oceana said the proposals did not go far enough.

"We have got a vague document which does not contain measures to achieve the goal of conservation and sustainable management of sharks," said the group's director of investigations, Ricardo Aguilar.

"Key omissions include a commitment to the precautionary approach, and integration with existing EU and global environmental measures that aim to protect threatened sharks and their habitats."

Among other things, Oceana had been lobbying for a much tighter timescale on the introduction of these controls, some of which may not come into force for four years - and then only if the European Parliament and Council of Ministers agree.

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Full article at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7872032.stm
Ο λόγος είναι μεγάλη ανάγκη της ψυχής. (Γιώργος Ιωάννου)


 

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