Analysis

American Elasmobranch Society calls for improved conservation of European sharks

Two of the five shark and skate conservation resolutions adopted at this year’s annual meeting of  the American Elasmobranch Society call on European policymakers to improve the conservation status of regional sharks and skates. 

The American Elasmobranch Society (AES) is the world’s pre-eminent professional organization for the scientific study of living and fossil sharks, skates, rays, and chimaeras. 

AES holds its annual meetings in conjunction with those of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (ASIH). All five AES resolutions were also adopted by the ASIH at this year’s meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. 

Through a Resolution Regarding European Shark Conservation the AES urged the European Union to develop a Community Plan of Action for sharks that includes science-based catch limits and requires that sharks be landed with fins attached.

AES also adopted a Resolution Regarding Sharks at ICCAT, through which Parties to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas were urged to adopt a binding recommendation in 2007 to require that sharks be landed with their fins attached, all porbeagle sharks be carefully released, and fishing mortality on North Atlantic shortfin mako sharks be reduced.

AES and ASIH also adopted resolutions urging conservation of thorny skates, spiny dogfish, sandbar sharks, and porbeagles in the Northwest Atlantic.  AES Resolutions are drafted by the AES Conservation Committee on which Shark Alliance Policy Director, Sonja Fordham, serves.  The Committee is chaired by Dr. Jack Musick of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science who also serves as the IUCN Shark Specialist Group Vice Chair for Science.