The European Commission released the Community Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks
Many of Europe’s shark and related ray populations have been depleted in the past 30 years, primarily due to fisheries overexploitation by large European shark fishing fleets. The Plan of Action does include some positive aspects, including a shark discard ban and a requirement to land shark fins and bodies at the same time and in the same port.
Saving hammerhead, thresher, blue and shortfin mako sharks
The Spanish government, after consulting with Oceana, committed to advancing new shark legislation that would ban the catch of threatened hammerhead and thresher sharks, put in place catch limits for blue sharks and shortfin mako sharks, and evaluate the viability of landing sharks “whole” with their fins attached. Spain is one of the largest shark fishing and exporting countries in the world.
Thousands of Oceana supporters contacted the Vermont Country Story, a leading catalog retailer, to convince it to stop selling a skin enhancer containing squalane. The oil is obtained from the livers of deep-sea sharks threatened by extinction. In an ironic note, the product was marketed under the name “Oceana.”
Oceana supporters bombarded online retailer Amazon.com with requests to stop selling shark fin soup. Within hours, Amazon.com had pulled the item from its virtual shelves. Tens of millions of sharks are killed each year for their fins. According to scientists, shark populations are crashing around the world.
Oceana and other members of the Shark Alliance scored a major victory for sharks in the European Parliament when the Parliament decided to reject a recommendation from its own Fisheries Committee to increase the allowable ratio of shark fins to bodies from 5 percent to 6.5 percent.