Sunday, October 20, 2013

Bringing back the Fish - good enough?

Mountain of Spiny Dogfish - apparently recovered, click for detail. Source.

First things first.

Congratulations, well done.
This report by the NRDC highlights the successes in rebuilding several Fish stocks under the Magnuson–Stevens Act.
For those species, that's great news.

But of course there's a big BUT.
Having checked the full report, I only find mention of one Shark, i.e. the Spiny Dogfish among the winners.
When it comes to the other Sharks, I read this.
Tuna Troubles
A number of migratory fish stocks that are caught in U.S. waters are subject to management under international agreements. The MSA contains an exception to the 10-year rebuilding requirement when management measures under international agreements dictate otherwise. Though multiple factors are at play, this weaker approach to rebuilding has not proved a conservation success: Of the 19 Atlantic highly migratory species of known status managed by NMFS, including multiple tuna, billfish, and shark stocks and stock complexes, 8 are overfished and 1 is approaching an overfished condition—about half of the total.
One relative bright spot is North Atlantic swordfish, which, after becoming overfished by the late 1990s, was put into a rebuilding plan and ultimately declared rebuilt in 2009.
As far as I understand, those internationally managed species are Swordfish (North Atlantic), Blue Marlin (North Atlantic), White Marlin (North Atlantic), Sailfish (Western Atlantic), Bluefin Tuna (Western Atlantic), Bigeye Tuna (Atlantic), Albacore (North Atlantic), Porbeagle (Atlantic), Blacknose Shark (Atlantic), Dusky Shark (Atlantic), Sandbar Shark (Atlantic), Blacktip Shark (Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico), and the Large Coastal Shark Complex. 
And the Makos, Blue and OWT?
The Large Coastal Shark Complex is listed by its management complex rather than individual stocks. The complex includes Spinner Shark, Silky Shark, Bull Shark, Tiger Shark, Lemon Shark, Nurse Shark, Scalloped Hammerhead Shark, Great Hammerhead Shark, Smooth Hammerhead Shark, Dusky Shark, Bignose Shark, Galapagos Shark, Night Shark, Caribbean Reef Shark, Narrowtooth Shark, Sand Tiger Shark, Bigeye Sand Tiger Shark, Whale Shark, Basking Shark, and White Shark - a whopping 20 additional and completely heterogeneous Sharks that essentially comprise everybody else!

All those species were excluded from the NRDC report.
With that in mind: is it only me - or does that not mean that the report is actually way too rosy, and that the calls for weakening the rules may be actually totally unwarranted?

Does anybody know the status of those Sharks - David?

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