Cuts In 2008 Shark Take Quotas Not Enough

OCEANA Europe is not pleased with European Commission’s proposals for 2008 shark quotas for Total Allowable Catches (TACs). Two of the species included in the proposal are both considered Critically Endangered in the North East Atlantic by the IUCN and thus Zero TAC’s are needed. For the spurdog (Squalus acanthias) the EC recommends a 25% decrease from last year but the 2,752 ton catch limit is still far above the scientific recommendations for these species. Much of the problem centers on deep-sea sharks which are particularly susceptible to overfishing due to their late maturity, slow growth, and long lifespans. Unfortunately the 2008 limits for deep-sea sharks were set 2 years ago despite urging by Oceana for zero TAC for some species over there entire range of the stocks, such as the Portuguese dogfish and leafscale gulper shark.

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

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