Memorandum of Understanding of the UN was hosted in Bonn
2. March, 2023
MOU on the Conservation of Migratory Sharks
An important Meeting on marine animal conservation just took place in Bonn. The UN hosted a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Conservation of Migratory Sharks there. Of course a delegation of Sharkproject was also present.
© Iris Ziegler
© Iris Ziegler
© Iris Ziegler
It was already the 4th Meeting of the signatories of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Sharks that was held this time in Bonn. One of the side events hosted by Germany’s Ministry of the Environment was called "Dive in and Discover: The Tope Shark Proposal and the Sharks MOU Advisory Committee's Assessment". On the agenda was tope shark (galeorhinus galeus), which is also called soupfin shark or vitamin shark. This shark species has been proposed for addition to the Annex I of the MOU after having been listed on App II of CMS in 2020 already. The listing provides this critically endangered species with better conservation measures across national jurisdictional boundaries.
Speakers for this event were none other than Jürgen Friedrich (Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection, BMUV), James Ellis (Vice Chair Sharks AC, Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, CEFAS), and Matthias Schaber (Thünen Institute of Sea Fisheries / Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, BMEL) . The latter highlighted in support of this listing of Tope shark, this shark lives not just on the continental shelf but also in the High Seas in temperate waters of the Northeast Atlantic down to a depth of 800 m. However, having been subject to targeted fishing for several decades for its liver oil (= squalene, see also here) but also for its meat and fins this population is now severely depleted, but is still targeted in several areas and it is also a common bycatch in long line fisheries and bottom trawling.
We from Sharkproject welcome this proposal for better collaboration on the protection of tope shark, a species which is also home to German waters. However, we are reminding all signatories and range state of the MOU that listing and collecting of more data alone will not help improving the status of this species. Therefore, we are calling to them to jointly agree on and implement effective conservation measures, too.
Another excellent side event war hosted by Sharkproject together with Oceana and Humane Society to discuss what needs to happen at RFMO (regional fisheries management organisations) level to ensure the sustainable management of endangered and critically endangered oceanic sharks, including shortfin mako, silky shark and blue sharks among others.
Of course Sharkproject's speaker was Dr. Iris Ziegler from our Sharkproject International Team. Jillian Acker (Oceana) and Lawrence Clebeck (Humane Society Australia) accompained her on stage.
Here you can find more details on the side events.