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EC ammends regulations on sharks, skates and rays


Common skate. (Photo: Peter van der Sluijs/CC BY-SA 3.0)

EUROPEAN UNION
Wednesday, February 11, 2015, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
The European Commission (EC) has amended the list of species of sharks, skates and rays which commercial fishing vessels are restricted from catching in EU waters.

The Commission publishes an annual regulation setting out fishing opportunities, or Total Allowable Catches, for EU Member States. This also includes a list of endangered/protected species which vessels are banned from catching.

Council Regulation (EU) 2015/104 includes changes and additions to the species of sharks, skates and rays that are prohibited. These include sharks (tope, porbeagle), starry, thornback, manta/devil rays, deep sea sharks and sawfish.

EU vessels may not be allowed to retain on board, tranship or land the species caught in a number of ICES areas and use a variety of gear types. When accidentally caught, species should not be harmed and should be promptly released. Article 12 of the regulation includes further details.

The changes also affect vessels from non-EU countries fishing in EU waters, which should refer to Article 44 of the regulations.
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