A step forward in the conservation of shortfin mako sharks has been achieved.
At the annual meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) last week, North Atlantic fishing nations have pledged to ban catches of the shortfin mako shark.
The efforts to secure the ban was led by the UK, Canada and Senegal. The move means that the countries agreed to end overfishing immediately and to gradually achieve biomass levels that were enough to support maximum sustainable yield by 2070 for the species, according to an article in The Guardian.
Conservationists hailed the ban a "critical breakthrough." Grantly Galland, an officer at the Pew Charitable Trust, said: “This is a remarkable list of improvements that will contribute to the successful management and conservation of tunas, sharks and billfishes in the Atlantic Ocean."
The shortfin mako shark is an endangered species that prized for its meat, fins and for sportfishing. The species have been overfished globally, but is particularly vulnerable in the North Atlantic. In 2019, a record number of countries voted to regulate the international trade of longfin and shortfin mako sharks under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.