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Blog Posts by: Natividad Sánchez

Despite its name, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) is in in charge of ensuring the sustainable management of many fish species including sharks. Over the last few decades, catches of commercially fished sharks have continually increased, however no proper management measures have been put in place and catches continue to be unregulated.

Finally, Mediterranean swordfish has been recognised as an urgent issue that needs to be addressed. This is music to the ears of us at Oceana as we’ve been campaigning for this issue for many years. Finally, politicians have reacted to the terrible situation that has developed: after 30 years of overfishing, the stock is just one third of what it used to be in the 1980s.

Good news for sharks: the list of wildlife species under special protection procedure just include the Mediterranean populations of seven species: dogfish, common Shortfin Mako, porbeagle, stripe false candle, Malta, common guitar and guitar Blackbeard stripe. Thus, the Spanish legislation prohibits that bother them, capture or killed, and that traded with them

Earlier this week, the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Affairs hosted an important screening: the wrap-up documentary of the LIFE+ INDEMARES project. LIFE+ INDEMARES is a turning point in marine conservation in Spain, since it has allowed the country to propose ten new Sites of Community Importance (SCI), increasing the marine protected surface from 1% to 6%.

It is said that the Mediterranean Sea is the world's most dangerous place for sharks and rays, as 4 out of 10 species are threatened. But along with the threat of overfishing, there is another factor that puts these wonderful creatures at risk:  oil exploration. As you might know, we made a list of endangered species living in the area affected by the proposed Cairn Energy oil exploration project in the Gulf of Valencia. Around 180 species are affected in total, and along with some fish, the most vulnerable species are actually sharks.

The EU is in the process of reforming its current regulation on deep-sea fishing in the North-East Atlantic. This law dates back to 2002 and has proven to be very ineffective – deep-sea species have not been managed sustainably, and fisheries have been permitted to damage vulnerable deep-sea ecosystems. Do you know the facts about these fisheries and their impacts?

We often see it on TV – beautiful tropical coral reefs with sun rays travelling through blue water and colourful fish swimming around happily. But what happens hundreds of metres below the surface? Well, basically the same thing – except the image is that of cold water coral reefs in total darkness with stranger looking fish swimming happily around.

Bluefin tuna, the iconic Mediterranean species, has for several years served as a dramatic example of how commercial greed can drive a species to the verge of collapse. Its critical situation triggered an international campaign to set reasonable catch limits, and eventually countries agreed to act. But what has become of bluefin tuna since? Has it recovered, as some fishing countries are now stating?

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