Oceana: Shameful European inaction on shark protection

EU delays decision on protecting threatened Mediterranean sharks and rays – for the third time.

Press Release Date: February 10, 2012

Location: Madrid


Marta Madina | email: mmadina@oceana.org | tel.: Marta Madina

Oceana deplores the failure of the European Union to take a decision on the protection of threatened sharks and rays in the Mediterranean, at the biennial meeting of the Barcelona Convention, in Paris.  The strict protection of ten species of sharks and rays, for which non-EU nations had already indicated their support, hinged on the vote of the EU. After having already postponed the decision at two previous meetings, the EU requested a further delay, invoking a clause of the convention allowing them six more months to decide which species, if any, they are in favour of protecting.

“As the largest shark-fishing power in the world, the EU should be leading the way for the conservation of sharks and rays that are threatened by overfishing. Instead, while countries such as Algeria, Libya, and Morocco came to the table prepared to protect these species, the EU arrived without an agreed position, delaying this critical decision yet again,” stated Xavier Pastor, Executive Director of Oceana Europe. “After months of delay while the European Commission attempted to resolve ‘internal’ issues, any further postponement of the decision is simply shameful. Meanwhile, threatened sharks and rays -including four species considered to be Critically Endangered- continue to be fished in the Mediterranean.”

Factsheet: Barcelona Convention. The necessity of Annex II protection for threatened sharks & rays

Press Release (08/02/2012): EU Failing Threatened Mediterranean Sharks