Sunday, December 1, 2013

10 Year Vision for WCPFC

The Western & Central Pacific Fisheries Commission is meeting in Cairns, Australia this week to discuss among other issues, prohibiting the retention of silky sharks and banning gear used to target sharks. This is the second year WCPFC will consider the bycatch measure put forth by the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA). The silky shark proposal is being considered for the first time.

The FFA bycatch proposal is going to be controversial because the United States will oppose restricting the use of wire leaders and several of the Asian fishing countries will oppose requiring that sharks be landed with their fins naturally attached. The science behind the silky shark proposal is not controversial; The stocks are overfished and overfishing is still occurring. The politics, however, will be a completely different story.

Even if both proposals pass, which is unlikely, they will not ensure sustainable long term shark populations. Much more work is needed. Here are our suggestions. Please retweet if you agree.

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