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July 11, 2012

Victory: 10 species of threatened sharks and rays get protected

© OCEANA / Carlos Suárez


Good news readers! Great news, actually: Yesterday, EU has finally voted in favour of strictly protecting ten threatened species of sharks and rays in the Mediterranean Sea, under the Barcelona Convention. These species, including hammerheads, tope, and shortfin mako, have declined dramatically in numbers – some by as much as 99% during the last century – while others have vanished from parts of the Mediterranean where they were once common. Oceana has been on this issue for the past year and a half and we couldn’t be any happier about this outcome.

The ten species will now be listed under Annex II of the Barcelona Convention, which requires Mediterranean countries to undertake maximum, cooperative efforts for their protection and recovery, including controlling or prohibiting their capture and sale, prohibiting damage to their habitat, and adopting measures for their conservation and recovery. They join other highly threatened shark species that are already protected under the same annex, such as great white sharks, basking sharks, and angel sharks.

There is still plenty of work to be done, but it’s always wonderful to be able to report good news!