Commentary by Peter Hammarstedt (Sweden) – captain of Sea Shepherd
Europe kills the fastest shark in the world, while African countries struggle to save the shark from extinction.
Last week, Senegal and Canada submitted an application to the International Atlantic Tuna Conservation Commission (ICCAT) for strict guidelines to protect the shortfin maco after a 2017 study showed that the world’s fastest shark species, itself if the catch rate was zero, there would only be a fifty percent chance of recovering.
Gabon, The Gambia and Liberia supported the application, which provides for a ban on carrying short-fin makos on board, even if they were “accidentally” killed. The three African coastal states conduct patrols at sea together with Sea Shepherd.
dead mako sharks in Liberian waters
The participants in the convention of the Washington Convention on the Protection of Species had previously voted for a trade ban on short-fin mako products.
To our horror, despite the efforts made by the African bloc, the application was smashed by the European Union and the United States. These made a weakened countermotion, which contradicted the best scientific recommendations.Unfortunately, this is not surprising since European fishing vessels are largely responsible for catching shortfin macos.
The failure of the application is devastating, but it gives me hope to see how our African partner countries play a pioneering role in the question of better shark protection measures.
I am proud of Gabon, The Gambia and Liberia, who are fighting for the shortfin mako, and I trust that in future African coastal states will increasingly work for shark protection at international gatherings and conferences.
In addition, although the country is the largest market for shark fins, China has voted for measures to protect the short fin maco.
Sea Shepherd thanks the Gambia, Gabon and Liberia and the other 13 supporters of Senegal’s application for their strong commitment to nature conservation at the ICCAT meeting.
Up to 11,000 sharks are killed by humans every hour. Shark populations have decreased by 90% in the past century and a quarter of all shark species are threatened with extinction.
The supporters of Senegal’s application understood the urgency of shark protection and the importance of better protection measures for the heavily exploited shortfin mako.
My comment: “In their 400 million year evolution, the Mako sharks became the perfect hunter and even survived the dinosaurs, ”said marine biologist Ralf Sonntag for the International Animal Welfare Fund (IFAW).
And now they were brought to the brink of extinction by humans because of a shit soup!
The Mako shark is also known as the “cheetah of the oceans”. It can reach a speed of 69 km per hour. It is the fastest shark in the world.
Unlike other fish, sharks breed only slowly. Females only reach sexual maturity from the age of 18 and only have a few cubs every few years.
Spain is the main exporter of Mako sharks. European, especially Spanish and Portuguese, fishing vessels are responsible for 65% of the reported shortfin mako catches between January and June 2018.
The sharks are on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as highly endangered!
The human animal should be on the red list as the most dangerous animal in the world.
I had invested high hopes on the Corona Virus that he would kill some millions of us, humans. So that the animal and natural world can recover a little.
But obviously he’s a weakling.
My best regards to all, Venus