11/19/2011 - Delegates at an international conservation meeting agreed Saturday on a measure mandating that silky sharks accidentally caught in fishing gear be released back into the sea alive, marine advocacy groups said.
The 48-member International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), however — ending a weeklong meeting in Istanbul — failed to reach consensus on other threatened shark species, the groups said.
Marine advocacy groups, including Oceana and The Pew Environment Group, welcomed the measure saying it would help overturn the silky sharks’ decline, though they also said they had hoped for more.
“Cutting the nets to free sharks when they are caught, will give a large number of them a real chance to survive,” Susan Lieberman, director of international Policy at the Pew Environment Group, told The Associated Press by telephone. “The measure is an important step.”
The group estimates that up to 1.5 million silky sharks are traded annually for their fins, and that up to 40 percent can survive if they are returned to the sea alive.
Read the full article, Conservation Body Agrees to Protect Silky Sharks, on ABC News' Web site.