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INSEPARABLE - Eat, Buy and Sell Sustainable FishINSEPARABLE - Eat, Buy and Sell Sustainable FishINSEPARABLE - Eat, Buy and Sell Sustainable FishINSEPARABLE - Eat, Buy and Sell Sustainable Fish

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EU Ministers have reached agreement on fishing opportunities for 2015 in the Atlantic, North Sea and Black Sea following lengthy discussion at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council on the 15th and 16th December. Karmenu Vella, the EU's Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, presented the Commission's proposals based for the first time on the new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) which aims to have all stocks fished at sustainable levels.

EU Action plan on sharks

Mediterranean spurdog (Squalus acanthias) © Dino Simeonidis/Biosphoto
Mediterranean spurdog (Squalus acanthias) © Dino Simeonidis/Biosphoto

The European Commission's Action plan for the Conservation and Management of Sharks is based on the following three specific objectives:

  • deepen knowledge both on shark fisheries and on shark species and their role in the ecosystem;
  • ensure that directed fisheries for shark are sustainable and that their by-catches are properly regulated;
  • encourage a coherent approach between the internal and external EC fishery policy for sharks.

After a wide consultation of stakeholders, who concluded on the whole that the recommended measures are necessary, the Commission approved the Plan on 5 February 2009 and forwarded it to the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament.

The European plan is based on the International Action plan for the Conservation and Management of Sharks (IPOA SHARKS) adopted by the FAO in 1999. The international plan aims to ensure the conservation and management of sharks and their sustainable use at global level. It is voluntary but all the States concerned are encouraged to implement it.