Today is a big day for sharks in the Mediterranean. It marks the beginning of the 17th Barcelona Convention Meeting, a three day event during which time the fate of many threatened sharks and rays is at stake. The Mediterranean is the region of greatest risk to sharks and rays, with 41% of species considered threatened, compared to 17% globally.
What is frustrating is that the protection of these threatened shark and ray species is already supported by all the non-EU nations that have signed the conservation treaty and yet, despite having had months to do so, the European Commission has made little progress on the subject. What’s worse is that EU Member States together account for the highest level of reported shark catches globally.
The EU needs to step up, take responsibility and take action before it is too late and the ten species up for protection at the meeting, including hammer sharks, skates and guitar fish, become a distant memory in these waters.