27 June 2012 - Endangered sharks will be given
greater protection following the signing of the CMS Memorandum
of Understanding on Migratory Sharks by the United Kingdom
on 18 June.
The agreement, the first of its kind to
address the global conservation of sharks, was signed by
Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon on behalf of the UK and
a number of its Overseas Territories.
Adopted under the Convention of Migratory
Species the Memorandum will help develop management measures
to protect threatened species such as basking, longfin mako
and whale sharks. Many of these sharks are not only found
in UK waters, but in those of UK Overseas Territories, the
involvement of which is therefore crucial in ensuring these
animals get the protection they need.
As is the case with most EU Member States,
the UK is pushing the EU to tighten controls on shark finning.
Shark finning - the practice of slicing off a shark’s
fins and discarding the body at sea - is associated with
unacceptable waste and unsustainable mortality rate of sharks.
The CMS agreement aims to ensure the long-term survival
Under the Memorandum, work will focus
on improving fisheries data for threatened shark species
to help inform conservation and management actions. It will
see better co-ordination of shark management and conservation
measures at regional and international levels, including
proposals to limit the catch or trade in endangered species
Other species of shark covered under the
agreement are shortfin and white sharks, the porbeagle and
northern hemisphere populations of the spiny dogfish. The
signature of the UK brings the total number of Signatories
to 25, as of 1 July 2012.