Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 July 2019

Greenpeace sounds alarm over shark overfishing in North Atlantic

Spanish and Portuguese ships in North Atlantic are catching up to 25,000 mako sharks annually, Greenpeace says

Divers at the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo are studying sharks to better understand their breeding patterns and ensure the species’ future.  The National
Divers at the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo are studying sharks to better understand their breeding patterns and ensure the species’ future.  The National

Thousands of endangered sharks are killed each year in the North Atlantic because of a lack of protection against overfishing in international waters, Greenpeace said on Thursday.

Fishing vessels dedicated mainly to catching swordfish collectively caught four times more sharks than that species by weight, using long lines loaded with thousands of hooks, said in a report based on findings from Greenpeace ship Esperanza this year.

"It is absolutely immoral to kill sharks and other wildlife with these terrible fishing practices," said Will McCallum, of Greenpeace's Protect the Oceans campaign.

"We are exposing the culprits at sea now, but we urgently need a strong treaty and tighter fishing limits to protect our global oceans."

The shortfin mako, the fastest shark in the world, and the longfin mako are among the shark species being caught in large numbers in the North Atlantic, Greenpeace said.

Both are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Spanish and Portuguese ships in the North Atlantic are catching as many as 25,000 mako sharks annually, Greenpeace's investigation shows.

Environmentalists warn that losing sharks at the top of the food chain can mean smaller fish thrive and consume more of their prey, upsetting the ecological balance.

Updated: June 27, 2019 03:52 AM

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