Shortfin Mako, the world’s fastest sharks on the path to extinction

Shortfin Mako, the world’s fastest sharks that can go at speeds of up to 43mph are fished worldwide and there are no International fishing quotas limiting its hunt. To stop overfishing, scientists have recommended landings reduction by two thirds in the North Atlantic where these species are regarded extremely vulnerable.

Shortfin mako shark
Shortfin mako shark

Last year, European Union and the other member states of the ICCAT – International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas decided to tighten the landing conditions and review and report the Mako catches for 2018. As per the Director of Conservation at UK-based Shark Trust, Ali Hood, ICCAT is already off the track in its attempt to stop overfishing and decrease shark deaths as the review of January- June landings show the catch to have crossed the annual threshold by more than 50% already.

According to Sonja Fordham of Shark Advocates International, while the ICCAT and its 52 party states which supervise the tuna and tuna-like species conservation in the Atlantic and nearby seas have placed bans to retain vulnerable sharks like the bigeye thresher, oceanic whitetip sharks, they have failed to take care of the Mako.

These shortfin Makos produce very few young and take longer time than other shark species to mature. 18 years is the maturing time for females, a feature making these vulnerable. Based on a 2017 study conducted, even if the catch was reduced to zero and extra measures taken, the chances of recovering is only one in two. But this could still take over two decades as per Hood.

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