Sharks: Conservation

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 18 February 2020.

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Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of establishing a limit on the number of each shark species caught in UK territorial waters.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The UK strongly supports the need to ensure scientifically robust catch limits are in place for all shark species exploited commercially within and outside of UK territorial waters.

The Common Fisheries Policy, which we will continue to follow during the transition period, already provides a framework for the protection and management of sharks within UK waters. Beyond this, the UK will continue to use the most recent scientific advice when setting Total Allowable Catches and Quotas. Landing prohibitions remain in place for angel shark, basking shark, white shark, spurdog and porbeagle shark.

Owing to the often highly migratory nature of elasmobranchs, as they move across national and international boundaries regularly, it is important that management is implemented throughout the range of the species rather than in isolation. Therefore, the UK continues to press for the establishment of scientifically justified catch limits for commercially exploited sharks within international Regional Fisheries Management Organisations.

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