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Today, the hearing of Maltese Karmenu Vella, Commissioner-designate for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries took place before the joint sitting of the European Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and Committee on Fisheries. Karmenu Vella has been interviewed by MEPs for over three hours on his commitment to sustainability and views on his future dossier.

Last Monday, the countries around the Baltic Sea invited stakeholders to discuss fisheries management issues at the Baltic Sea Fisheries Forum, known as BALTFISH. BALTFISH is an informal group established by the fisheries administrations around the Baltic Sea, where they discuss fisheries management issues that only concern the Baltic Sea area in order to facilitate the EU fisheries Council negotiations – regionalization of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) put into practice.

Yesterday, the entry of 5 new species of sharks and all manta rays to the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) Appendix II went into effect, as agreed on in the CITES meeting last year in Bangkok, Thailand.

The shark species that are now included in this list are the Oceanic Whitetip, the Porbeagle and three varieties of Hammerhead shark; the Great Hammerhead, the Smooth Hammerhead and the Scalloped Hammerhead. All of these species are listed as threatened on the IUCN RED List.