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Restrictions on fishing for certain sharks, skates and rays

The EC has amended the list of species of sharks, skates and rays which commercial fishing vessels are restricted from catching in EU waters.

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The European 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 prohibited from catching.

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

EU vessels may be prohibited from retaining on board, transhipping or to landing the species caught in a number of ICES areas and by using 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.

Published 11 February 2015