A U.N. Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) meeting last week failed to agree protections for the blue shark – the most heavily fished shark in the world.
A majority of countries attending the CMS Sharks Memorandum of Understanding (CMS Sharks MOU), at a meeting in Monaco last week, wanted to work together to conserve the blue shark. However, Australia, New Zealand, the U.S. and South Africa all spoke out against the proposal, and so the species was denied. Despite the lack of any sort of conservation-based management, the proposal was rejected for listing because data suggesting major declines was not enough to sway its opponents.
Humane Society International says the rejection is a terrible outcome for the species which is caught in numbers up to 20 million every year. “It will now be three years until the blue shark can be proposed again for listing under this international agreement. In that time, another 30 to 60 million blue sharks will be caught and killed without the international cooperation and attention that this species sorely needs. It is deeply disappointing that Australia, which used to be a champion for shark protection, spoke out against the listing,” said Nicola Beynon, Head of Campaigns at Humane Society International.