Sharks Get New Protections Amid Severe Declines; Bluefin Tuna Safeguards Rejected

Publication: The Washington Post

Author: Juliet Eilperin


11/27/2010 - International delegates Saturday adopted new protections for seven species of shark in the Atlantic Ocean but rejected restrictions for bluefin tuna and swordfish, leaving the future of some of the world's most imperiled marine predators uncertain.

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Matt Rand, who directs global shark conservation for the Washington-based Pew Environment Group, said in a phone interview from Paris the decisions show that policymakers are responding to the criticism they received this spring after the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora failed to adopt a single measure restricting the global trade of species such as oceanic whitetip and various types of hammerhead.

Rand said the votes demonstrate "fisheries managers around the world are paying attention to shark issues," although he added that it still means only a tiny fraction of the sharks that swim in the Atlantic now are protected from fishing vessels.

"It's a good step forward but far short of what is needed to save the world's sharks," Rand said.

Read the full article Sharks Get New Protections Amid Severe Declines; Bluefin Tuna Safeguards Rejected on The Washington Post's Web site.

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