Earth Science News  





.
WATER WORLD
More than a million Atlantic sharks killed yearly: study

by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) Nov 22, 2010
At least 1.3 million sharks, many listed as endangered, were harvested from the Atlantic in 2008 by industrial-scale fisheries unhampered by catch or size limits, according to a tally released Monday.

The actual figure may be several fold higher due to under-reporting, said the study, released by advocacy group Oceana on the sidelines of a meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).

Convening in Paris through November 27, the 48-member ICCAT is charged with ensuring that commercial fisheries are sustainable. It has the authority to set catch quotas and restrictions.

While the global spotlight has been trained on the plight of Atlantic bluefin tuna, many species of high-value sharks are in even more dire straits, say marine biologists.

"Sharks are virtually unmanaged at the international level," said Elizabeth Griffin Wilson of Oceana. "ICCAT has a responsibility to protect our oceans' top predators."

Under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, "highly migratory" sharks must be managed by international bodies.

Of the 21 species found in the Atlantic, three-quarters are classified as threatened with extinction.

North Atlantic populations of the oceanic white tip, for example, have declined by 70 percent, and hammerheads by more than 99 percent, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Other species -- including the porbeagle, common thresher and shortfin mako -- have also been overexploited, and may be teetering on the brink of viability.

Many are fished for their fins -- prized as a delicacy in Chinese cuisine -- and then tossed, dead or dying, back into the sea once the choice morsels have been sliced off.

The practice is prohibited, but loopholes in the regulation have allowed the ban to be widely ignored.

Oceana and several conservation groups, backed by some governments, have called upon ICCAT to set catch quotas and other protective measures for these and other vulnerable sharks.

The United States has proposed requiring that all sharks be brought back to shore whole, which would boost enforcement of the finning ban and help scientists measure population levels.

Japan -- which quashed a drive earlier this year to protect four threatened shark species under the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) -- is now urging ICCAT to prohibit fishing one of them, the oceanic white tip.

The initiative "is an example showing our commitment for conservation of shark resources," the head of the Japanese delegation said in an opening statement.

Sharks have reigned at the top of the ocean food chain for hundreds of millions of years.

But the consummate predators are especially vulnerable to industrial-scale overfishing because they mature slowly and produce few offspring.

"The classic fisheries management approach of 'fishing down' a given population to its so-called maximum sustainable yield, and then assuming it can recover, does not work for sharks," said Matt Rand, a shark expert at the Washington-based Pew Environment Group.

Tens of millions of the open-water hunters are extracted from global seas every year.

Regional studies have shown that when shark populations crash the impact cascades down through the food chain, often in unpredictable and deleterious ways.




Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics



Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
WATER WORLD
Busy Microbial World Discovered In Deepest Ocean Crust Ever Explored
Corvallis OR (SPX) Nov 22, 2010
The first study to ever explore biological activity in the deepest layer of ocean crust has found bacteria with a remarkable range of capabilities, including eating hydrocarbons and natural gas, and "fixing" or storing carbon. The research, just published in the journal PLoS One, showed that a significant number and amount of bacterial forms were present, even in temperatures near the boil ... read more

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  


WATER WORLD
Gates backs crisis cells to aid Latin America in disasters

US Socially Responsible Investing Thrives In Recession

Chinese worker saved after 80 hours in underwater pipe

Italian quake victims denounce reconstruction pace

WATER WORLD
Thales announces venture for Chinese in-flight systems

News Corp. set to unveil iPad newspaper, 'The Daily'

FASTRAC Team Ready To Enjoy Launch

Amazon lets gift-givers send Kindle books by email

WATER WORLD
More than a million Atlantic sharks killed yearly: study

Busy Microbial World Discovered In Deepest Ocean Crust Ever Explored

Fall Bonefish Census Sounds Warning Bell That Warrants Careful Future Monitoring

Indonesia declares protected zone to save coral reefs

WATER WORLD
Operation IceBridge Completes Another Successful Antarctic Campaign

Delayed ice threatening Canada polar bears

As Arctic Temperatures Rise, Tundra Fires Increase

Drumlin Field Provides Answers About Glaciation And Climate

WATER WORLD
China milk campaigner 'forced to sack lawyers': rights group

Gene Find Could Lead To Healthier Food And Better Biofuel

Melamine-tainted drinks emerge again in China: report

New Disease-Resistant Food Crops In Prospect

WATER WORLD
Safe water out of reach for poor Haitians

Indonesia volcano death toll passes 300

Villagers flee as Philippine volcano shoots ash

Danger zone reduced as Indonesian eruption weakens

WATER WORLD
I. Coast army deploys in north ahead of election

Madagascan army crushes three-day mutiny

China, Angola sign agreements as vice-president Xi visits

Swazi life expectancy halved by AIDS, TB: health charity

WATER WORLD
Study Reveals Neural Basis Of Rapid Brain Adaptation

Human Children Outpaced Neanderthals By Slowing Down

Paraguay nixes British expedition to remote tribal region

Origin Of Cells Associated With Nerve Repair Discovered


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement