Options for European Shark Plan revealed

Conservationists see hope on the horizon in EU Commission initiative

Brussels, 12 December 2007: The Shark Alliance, a coalition of 44 conservation, fishing, diving, and scientific organizations dedicated to improving European Union shark fishing policies, is welcoming the release of the European Commission’s consultation document for a Community Plan of Action (CPOA) for Sharks. This plan of action, at long last, addresses the plight of sharks and proposes a range of options for improvement. The Commission document, released last night, is now subject to a two-month stakeholder comment period.

The thorough and relatively robust consultation document proposes many elements promoted by the Shark Alliance, including catch limits in line with scientific advice, special attention to endangered species, measures to strengthen the ban on shark finning, means to regulate and reduce bycatch, and educational programs to promote awareness among fishermen and the public.

The document is open for comment until February 15 and will be further developed throughout 2008. It is expected to be offered as an official Communication to the European Council and Parliament by the end of the year, after which time both entities will provide their views.

View the original press release here.

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