Juliet Eilperin of the Washington Post reported yesterday on the latest meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunaas (ICCAT):
On the last day of voting at the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), the group charged with overseeing shark species in the Atlantic Ocean voted to ban the fishing, retention and sale of oceanic whitetip sharks and six types of hammerheads: great, scalloped, scoophead, smalleye, smooth and whitefin.1The news for bluefin tuna isn't as good.
Delegates did little to curtail the catch of bluefin tuna on either side of the Atlantic, even though scientists have warned that the species is in danger of becoming commercially extinct. They reduced the 2011 fishing quota in the eastern Atlantic, close to Europe, by just 4 percent to 12,900 metric tons, and in the western Atlantic they cut it from 1,800 to 1,750 metric tons for next year. The commission also declined to shut down fishing in the tuna's spawning grounds in the Mediterranean and the Gulf of Mexico. Delegates also failed to fulfil their pledge to establish a comprehensive management plan for swordfish in the Mediterranean, though this population has also declined significantly in the past 20 years.And the news for sharks isn't even all that good.
Populations of oceanic whitetip shark have declined 99 percent in the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean, while hammerheads' numbers have dropped 99 percent in the Mediterranean.Still, a little progress is better than nothing.