New Zealand Signs on to Protect Migratory Sharks

posted: 07/07/15
by: Danny Clemens

New Zealand has ratified the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Sharks, an international agreement that aims to protect vulnerable migratory sharks from overfishing and exploitation.

The agreement aims to improve "understanding of migratory shark populations through research, monitoring and information exchange". Signatories pledge to support sustainable fishing and protect migratory shark habitats, and to "enhance public participation in conservation activities". Nearly 40 other nations have also signed the agreement, which was drafted during a 2010 meeting in Manila, Philippines.

Mako shark swimming
Bryan Toro/istock

"Becoming a signatory will help New Zealand have a voice in the global conservation of sharks and will help to support and lead shark conservation efforts - in particular across the wider southwest Pacific," remarked Conservation Minister Maggie Barry.

Seven species of migratory sharks are currently listed in the memorandum: great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), whale shark (Rhincodon typus), basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus), shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus), longfin mako shark (Isurus paucus), porbeagle (Lamna nasus) and select spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias) populations in the northern hemisphere.

While the International Union for the Conservation of Nature classifies one third of all species Threatened or Near Threatened, 75% all migratory shark species are classified as Threatened or Near Threatened, according to a December 2007 IUCN report.


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