According to a statement released on Monday, nations agreed on “new measures for the protection of cetaceans, whale sharks, and mobulid rays” as well as the conservation of Atlanticblue Sharks at the conclusion of this week’s International Commission for Atlantic Tuna Conservation ( ICCAT ) meeting.
According to a study this year that analyzed data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature, sharks and rays are facing what conservationists have referred to as an extinction crisis, putting nearly two thirds of coral reef species in danger.
The Shark League of the Atlantic and Mediterranean, a coalition advocating for conservation policies, claims that governments and fisheries must better protect sharks and rays that are threatened by overfishing.
The group claimed that while ICCAT’s actions were admirable, they fell short of “properly safeguarding such inherently vulnerable species” as manta, devil rays, andwhale and blue sharks.
The ICCAT, which is made up of 50 nations and includes some of the largest fishing nations in the world, also reduced blue shark quotas by 23 %.
The Shark League, which compared the immediate effects of the new quota to” a flip of a coin,” warned that the current blue shark catch was” too high to ensure long-term sustainability.”
The Pew CharitableTrusts conservation group deemed the ICCAT’s recommendations “mostly dissatisfying,” with fishing nations failing to adequately address climate change or advance protections for other species like western Atlantic skipjack tuna and North Atlantic swordfish.
According to Pew’s Esther Wozniak, ICCAT could have maintained its momentum after several years of positive progress but chose not to take the necessary steps to modernize management for some of its most valuable fisheries.
The lack of progress on tuna, swordfish, and climate change, according to Wozniak, “overshadows the advances that were made,” despite the fact that he supported “improved management” in some areas.