Arxiu d'etiquetes: shark finning

Threats and protection of sharks – Interview with Mónica Alonso

In this blog we have talked about sharks on several occasions, but now we interview Mónica Alonso, a member of Alianza Tiburones Canarias (Canarias Shark Alliance). Although she is an engineer, she has been taking courses on marine biology and elasmobranchs for over 15 years; which have motivated her to create the blog Protejamos las maravillas del mar

Mónica, thank you very much for the interview and for sharing your knowledge and experience about sharks. Being engineer, how did your interest on sharks arise? 

More than 15 years ago, I started to dive, and immediately, I was interested in marine environment, of which I unknown almost everything. I did some courses on marine biology and I was passionate for it.

mónica alonso ruiz alianza tiburones canarias
Mónica Alonso diving

Studding sharks, I realised that they are fascinating, and above all when I started to be conscious about the precarious conservation state of most of the species due to finning and abusive fishing.

You are the content and communication director of Alianza Tiburones Canarias. What is it? Why is it based on Canary Islands?

Advancing in my interest in elasmobranchs (sharks and rays), I was learning more about them, more I realized that in the Canary Islands there is a treasure: the angelshark (Squatina squatina), a shark belonging to one of the most threatened families from all sharks, whose species is declared by the IUCN as critically endangered, one step away from extinction.

angelote squatina squatina alianza tiburones canarias
Angelshark (Squatina squatina) (Picture: Ricardo R. Fernández).

The Alliance for the sharks of Canary Islands is an association of people concerned about the Canary marine environment, and especially elasmobranchs that live there, and in particular the state of conservation of angelshark.

At present, we have not yet managed to stop the fishing of angelshark, despite being prohibited and the level of critical threat to the species, but at least we got from the Canary Government an “educational” measure. We believe that tourists who hire the services of these companies do not know that capturing an angelshark contributes to their extinction (although freeing it after suffering serious damage), or that is forbidden. Therefore, it is mandatory that these companies clearly exhibit a sign with elasmobranchs which can not be fished.

Our association is not interested in confronting these companies, but to collaborate with them in educational tasks.

Which is the mission of the Alliance?

The “vision”, as a long-term goal, of our association is to make the Canary Islands a dive’s paradise with elasmobranchs. Over the short term, our “mission” is the promotion, dissemination and the environmental education and conservation of the Canary marine biodiversity, with special emphasis on elasmobranchs.

Therefore, my colleagues in the Canaries and the team of Madrid are dedicated to change the bad image of sharks, and to participate in everything related to their protection.

Which activities do you do for shark conservation?

Canary Islands is precisely where we do most of the activities. My companions who live there are constantly moving throughout the islands, giving educational talks in schools, universities, fishermen’s associations, diver forums participating in fairs biodiversity, solidarity markets … A massive outreach and education focused particularly in younger people, which we believe is slowly paying off.

Through social networks, we receive a lot of information about shark sightings by divers. Our Facebook page shows every week pictures of angelsharks and other elasmobranchs, done by divers, who give us details of the spotted animal: its size, sex, depth of sighting, place (not published to avoid poachers), and other data relevant to the statistical study we are doing.

Now that we know a little more about the Alliance, I would like to know if there are so many species of sharks and rays in Spanish waters, since most people think we do not have these animals on our shores.

Spain has many kilometers of coastline, both Mediterranean and Atlantic. Both the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic are home to many species of sharks. So, we must eradicate that idea. About the number of species, some reports expose that in the Mediterranean Sea there are 90 species of sharks. And the Atlantic Ocean is home to many more.

I think divers know that there are sharks in all seas and oceans, but it is very rare to meet anyone, especially because they detect us before we do. And because each time there are fewer, due to overfishing and finning.

Ninety species in the Mediterranean are a lot … What role do sharks play in marine ecosystems?

There are over 500 species of sharks worldwide, with varied shapes, sizes, lifestyles …, so in general it cannot be generalized for the whole group what we are goint to say. We have the largest of all fishes, the whale shark, which feeds on plankton, and conversely, small sharks as predators that work at its level.

Overall, sharks are apex predators that are at the top of the food chain. Therefore, they play an important role in the ocean ecosystem, maintaining ecological balance. In general, they act as scavengers helping to eliminate dead animals, thus preventing the spreading of disease and strengthening the genetic makeup of prey populations. As predators, they help to maintain the levels of individuals in the lower level of the marine food chain.

Red trófica marina, en la que vemos que el tiburón está en la parte superior de ésta (Imagen: Transformación del Entorno).
Marine food chain, in which we can observe sharks at the top (Picture: Transformación del Entorno).

Despite their importance, I am sure that they are threatened. Which are their main threats?

The biggest threats, according to FAO, are overfishing and finning.

For those who do not know the term finning, I must say that shark fins are very valuable (about 20 €/kg), much more than meat (between 1 and 2 € per kg). The reason is that shark fins are an ingredient in a traditional dish, the shark fin soup, a deli, which can cost almost 100€ each soup. The rapid growth of the middle class in China has caused the price of kilo to increase in the international market. So, ships prefer to store more fins than meat. Therefore, shark fins are cut and the dying animal is returned to the water; as shown in this video:

This macabre activity is prohibited in many parts of the world, but not in all places. In the European Union, it has been banned since 2003, but the regulation was adopted allowing certain unloading of fins with a permit. The fleets of Spain and Portugal, European fishing powers, used this exception in the law, supported by the Spanish and Portuguese governments.

Is this exception still being used to unload fins without their body?

A few years ago, there was an European movement to eliminate the exception of this law, and numerous conservation organizations and governments in many European countries banded together to approve the measure of “fins attached”, ie, when fishing a shark, fishermen cannot disembark body and fins separately. This is a measure that has been very successful in order to eradicate finning in many areas of the world. The new European antifinning law was passed in 2012 and came into force in 2013, with the measure of “fins attached” applicable to international EU waters and all European vessels worldwide.

This does not mean that catch sharks is illegal, and even sell their fins in a global market that is very opaque and generates many benefits to many countries, among which is ours.

Which role does Spain play?

In Spain, many sharks are caught, and the most fished species is undoubtedly the blue shark. The Port of Vigo, the largest fishing harbour in Europe, is the only one in which fishing statistics are published each year, detailing the species. By 2014, nearly 10,000 tons of sharks of all kinds were unloaded. The shark meat in Galicia, called Quenlla or Caella, is being increased its consumption, mainly by the campaign that the big fishing companies are doing. And it is very easy to see that the blue shark is sold fresh or frozen in the main Spanish supermarkets.

Seeing everything, I image that sharks are not very protected. Is that right?

Unfortunately, in Spain and in the rest of the world, the level of protection of sharks is very low.

The oceans are unfortunately an area ​very unprotected. Maybe it is because much of its surface has no owner, so-called international waters.

In Spain, and in Europe, there are a number of species for which it is forbidden, not only its fishing, but even upload them to the ship to remove the hooks and return them to the sea. That is the case of angelshark, the bigeye thresher, the hammerhead, the basking shark, the white, the porbeagle and some rays.

Since last year, there have been protected new shark species in Spain, but only in the area of ​​the Mediterranean: the school shark, the shortfin mako shark and the porbeagle, and several species of rays, such as the guitar fish. This means that if we find school shark in a menu from a bar, it is only illegal if it has been caught in the Mediterranean, but we will never know, as consumers, if the animal comes from the Atlantic or the Mediterranean. The best thing in this case is not to eat.

So, is there some illegal product? 

Shark fins are not illegal in our country if they come from unprotected species, such as blue shark.

At the international level, it is only prohibited trade with hammers’ fins, whale shark‘s fins, white’s fins, porbeagle’s fins, basking shark’s fins and longimanus’s fins (and some rays). This is the real drama: the fin market is not illegal, but for many of us is immoral.

There is an international movement called Fin Free, in which some cities have added, and in them the sale and consumption of fins is not allowed.

I do understand; is really complicated everything. Moving on… We have all seen plenty of movies in which the shark is bad, the murderer. Is it reality or fiction?

It is quite true that cinema has done much harm to the conservation of sharks since all, until you begin to learn things, have experienced fear even in the same word shark.

entrevista tiburones alianza canarias
There are so many movies in which sharks are the murder (Picture: Misterios).

However, more and more divers dive with them and have no problems. There are many ways to dive with sharks and only a group of more aggressive by nature species are subject to special precautions, such as the white, the tiger or the bull sharks. What is clear is that we are not on their menu.

Accidents with these animals, although of great importance on media are very few compared to those who die, for example, against attacks of hippos and crocodiles.

Given its importance and degree of threat, what can society do to save these species?

The truth is that a lot. The simple fact of knowing the situation helps a lot, because what happens is that the general population, and even governments, are unaware of many of the things we have talked today. Certainly, greater awareness and public pressure are the best weapons to get governments to act.

Moreover, do not buy the products we have mentioned and be part of all the opportunities for citizen participation in law-making as possible. Antifinning current law is the result of pressure from many European conservation groups, which could be heard and through which regulatory initiatives were established.

Thank you very much for your time. I’m sure our readers will appreciate all this knowledge that you have given us.

Difusió-anglès

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Sharks: predators as prey

Today we will talk about a sensitive topic. This topic is shark finning, an unsustainable and macabre practise that happen in our waters. 

INTRODUCTION

Sharks, together with rays, are included in the elasmobranchii group. They are characterized by a cartilaginous skeleton and several teeth rows, which are continuously renovated. Sharks are predators because they are in the top of food chains. It means that they devour but they aren’t devoured. Nevertheless, we will see that is not completely true, as there is a species that has the ability to capture them, cut their fins and then to throw them to the sea.

WHAT IS SHARK FINNING?

Shark finning consists on cutting and saving shark fins and discard the rest of the body.

4145Fisher cutting a shark fin (Foto: Gary Stokes; Sea Shepherd, Hong Kong).

The animal usually is still alive when is thrown into the water, so it can swim and sink slowly to the deep sea; where, still alive, will be food for other animals. Fishers only save the fins because its economical value is much bigger than the meat of the animal so, discarding the body, they have more space in the ship for fins. In the next video, which is very hard to see, we can watch this activity:

IS THAT ILLEGAL?

Shark finning is a forbidden activity around Europe since 2003, with the passing of the Council Regulation (EC) No 1185/2003 of 26 June 2003 on the removal of fins of sharks on board vessels, but this law allowed to discharge fins without its body, with a permission, and in the case that the fin weight was lower than 5% of the total weight of the animal. This means that, despite the law, finning was taking place. This regulation had some legal vacuums, thanks to 4th article, that allowed to give special permissions to cut fins on board of the vessels and discharge these fins and the rest of the body in different harbours, what meant a big difficulty to control finning.

For all this reasons, in 2011, European Commission proposed the obligatory nature to discharge fins together with the shark body, what was well received by conservationist organisations, most of the scientific community, general public, Committee of Ministers of EU and the Environment Committee of EU. Nevertheless, Spain and Portugal, whose shark fisheries are by far the most important in EU, express their opposition to this reform. Both countries have a fishing line fleet in the North Atlantic.

Finally, in June 2013, it is approved the reform of the European reform about finning, Regulation (EU) Nº 605/2013 of the European Parliement and of the Council (of 12 June 2013), amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1185/2003 on the removal of fins of sharks on board vessels. In this regulation, it is mandatory to discharge sharks with their fins. This measure has been successfully to fight against finning in other parts of the world. Portugal and Spain were put up it because it reduces their benefits, so holds are full sooner.

WHY IS THAT HAPPENING?

This practise was expanded due to the high price of shark fins in the Asiatic market to do shark fin soup and in traditional cures. Every single kilo of fresh or frozen fin costs 20 €, while in the case of meat the value is just 1€. EU captures sharks in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans. It is the first worldwide power in shark fishing, with a 17% of declared captures in 2009, and the biggest fin exporter at Hong Kong and China.

_MG_7002Shark fins spread in the ground to be dried (Gary Stokes; Sea Shepherd, Hong Kong).
_MG_7411Shark fins spread in the ground to be dried (Gary Stokes; Sea Shepherd, Hong Kong).

WHICH SPECIES ARE THE TARGET?

Nowadays, many species are target of fishing because, despite 28% of the species are considered threatened by IUCN, just some of them are protected. In Spain and Europe, there are just 9 protected species. In addition, catch shares don’t exist and, for this reason, fishers can fish till extinction. Why do not exist catch shares? The reason is that fishing regulation in EU is conditioned by Spain and Portugal. However, specialists estimates that every year are killed 100 million sharks for their fins.

Blue shark is the main species in the Atlantic fishing line feet. If we have a look in the capture statistics of this shark in Vigo harbour (Spain) (2468 tones and more than 3 million euro of benefit, according to Puerto de Vigo), we can observer that is a great benefit: is legal, there aren’t catch shares and fins are well-paid in Hong Kong market.

WHICH IS THE IMPACT OF SHARK FINNING?

Shark finning has the following impacts:

  • Loss and devastation of shark populations around the world. Experts estimate that within a decade, most species of sharks will be lost because of longlining.
  • Unsustainable fishery. The massive quantity of sharks harvested and lack of selection deplete shark populations faster than their reproductive abilities can replenish populations.
  • Threatens the stability of marine ecosystems.
  • Obstructs the collection of species-specific data that are essential for monitoring catches and implementing sustainable fisheries management.
  • Wasteful of protein and other shark-based products. Up to 95 per cent of the shark is thrown away.

REFERENCES

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I wouldn’t finish this article without give thanks for her help and patient to Mónica Alonso Ruiz, who is communication responsible and Madrid responsible of Alianza Tiburones Canarias, who informed me and give me most of the information and data present here.

If you find this article interesting, you can share it in Social Networks to dissiminate this problem. The goal of this blog is to inform people about science. 

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Tiburones: de depredador a presa

En esta ocasión os queremos hablar de un tema bastante delicado y que puede ser que muchos de vosotros ni siquiera lo conozcáis, aunque en los últimos años se habla bastante. Se trata de aleteo de tiburones, una práctica insostenible y macabra que se produce en nuestras aguas. 

INTRODUCCIÓN

Los tiburones, junto a las rayas y torpedos, forman el grupo de los elasmobranquios. Se caracterizan por la falta de espinas óseas y tienen el esqueleto formado por cartílagos. Presentan varias filas de dientes, las cuales se van renovando continuamente. Los tiburones, al encontrarse arriba de las redes tróficas, son animales depredadores. Esto significa que devoran y no son devorados. De todas formas, ésto ya veremos que no es así, pues hay una especie que tiene la capacidad de pescarlos, cortarles las aletas y devolverlos al mar

¿QUÉ ES EL ALETEO DE TIBURONES?

El aleteo de tiburones (conocido en inglés como shark finning) consiste en cortar y guardar las aletas de los tiburones y descartar el resto del cuerpo.

4145Pescador cortado una aleta de tiburón (Foto: Gary Stokes; Sea Shepherd, Hong Kong).

El animal muchas veces sigue con vida cuando se tira al agua, de manera que no puede nadar y se hunde lentamente hacia el fondo del mar; donde, aún vivo, sirve de comida para otros organismos. Los pescadores sólo guardan las aletas, pues su valor económico es mucho mayor que la carne del animal, de manera que descartan el cuerpo para tener más espacio para más aletas. En el siguiente vídeo, el cual es muy duro de ver, podemos ver esta actividad:

¿ES ILEGAL?

El aleteo de tiburones es una práctica prohibida en toda Europa des del año 2003, con la aprobación del Reglamento (CE) Nº 1185/2003 del Consejo (de 26 de junio de 2003), sobre el cercenamiento de las aletas de tiburón en buques, pero la legislación permitía desembarcar aletas sin el cuerpo, bajo permiso, y si el peso de la aleta no superaba el 5% del peso del animal. Esto significa que, a pesar de la norma, el aleteo continuaba produciéndose. Este reglamento presentaba un conjunto de vacíos legales que permitían, gracias al artículo 4, expedir unos permisos especiales para cortar las aletas a bordo de los barcos y desembarcar estas aletas y el cuerpo en puertos diferentes, lo que suponía una gran dificultad para controlar el aleteo.

Por todo esto, el año 2011, la Comisión Europea propone la obligatoriedad de desembarcar a los tiburones con las aletas adheridas de forma natural en el cuerpo, la cual fue muy bien recibida por las organizaciones conservacionistas, gran parte de la comunidad científica, el público en general, el Consejo de Ministros de la UE y el Comité de Medio Ambiente de la UE. De todas formas, no todo era tan bonito, pues España y Portugal, principales países pescadores de tiburones en la UE, se manifestaron en contra de esta reforma. Estos dos países tienen una flota de palangreros de altura que trabajan en el Atlántico Norte.

Finalmente, en julio de 2013, se aprueba la modificación del reglamento europeo sobre el aleteo, el Reglamento (UE), Nº 605/2013 del Parlamento Europeo y el Consejo (de 12 de junio de 2013), por el cual se modifica el reglamente del año 2003; y se establece la medida de obligar a desembarcar los cuerpos de los tiburones con las aletas adheridas. Esta medida ha sido eficaz en la lucha contra esta práctica en otras partes del mundo. Portugal y España se opusieron a esta medida ya que reducía mucho el beneficio, pues las bodegas de les llenan mucho antes.

¿POR QUÉ SE HACE?

Esta mala práctica pesquera se expandió debido al elevado precio de las aletas de tiburón en el mercado asiático para hacer sopa de aleta de tiburón y para curas tradicionales. Para hacernos a la idea, cada kilo de aleta fresca o congelada tiene un valor de 20€ (si se seca el precio se incrementa mucho más), mientras que si es de carne el beneficio es sólo de 1€. La UE captura tiburones en el Mediterráneo y en los océanos Atlántico, Índico y Pacífico. Es la potencia mundial en pesca de tiburón, con un 17% de las captura declaradas el 2009, y el exportador más grande de aletas a Hong Kong y China.

_MG_7002Aletas de tiburón esparcidas para que se sequen al sol (Gary Stokes; Sea Shepherd, Hong Kong).
_MG_7411Aletas de tiburón esparcidas para que se sequen al sol (Gary Stokes; Sea Shepherd, Hong Kong).

¿QUÉ ESPECIES SE PESCAN?

Actualmente, se pescan muchas especies de tiburón ya que, a pesar de que el 28% de las especies se consideran amenazadas de extinción por la IUCN, no están protegidas muchas de ellas. En España y Europa hay un total de 9 especies protegidas. Además, no hay cuotas pesqueras establecidas para estas especies, lo que significa que se pueden pescar hasta la extinción. ¿Y por qué no hay cuotas? Pues porque la regulación de la pesca en la UE está muy condicionada por la presión de España y Portugal. De todas formas, los especialistas estiman que cada año se matan 100 millones de tiburones sólo por sus aletas.

La tintorera es la especie principal capturada por la flota palangrera del Atlántico. Si nos fijamos en las estadísticas de las capturas de tintoreras declaradas en el puerto de Vigo (2468 toneladas y más de 3 millones de euros de beneficio, según datos del Puerto de Vigo) se puede observar que es un gran negocio: es legal, no hay cutoas y las aletas se pagan muy bien en el mercado de aletas de Hong Kong.

¿QUÉ IMPACTO TIENE EL ALETEO DE TIBURONES?

El aleteo tiene los siguientes impactos:

  • Pérdida y devastación de las poblaciones de tiburones en todo el mundo. Los expertos estiman que en una década, muchas especies de tiburones se habrán perdido debido a la pesca de palangre.
  • Pesquería insostenible. La gran cantidad de tiburones pescados y la falta de selección hará decaer sus poblaciones más rápido de lo que ellos tienen la capacidad de recuperar.
  • Amenaza la estabilidad de los ecosistemas.
  • Imposibilita la recogida de datos fiables sobre capturas de tiburones.
  • Reduce las proteínas y otros productos derivados, pues el aleteo reduce el uso de los productos del tiburón en un 95%.

REFERENCIAS

AGRADECIMIENTO

No quisiera acabar este artículo sin agradecer la ayuda y paciencia brindada por Mónica Alonso Ruíz, responsable de comunicación y de Madrid de Alianza Tiburones Canarias, la cual me ha informado y aportado gran parte de la información y los datos contenidos aquí.

Si te ha gustado este artículo, por favor, compártelo en las redes sociales para hacer difusión, pues el objetivo del blog, al fin y al cabo, es divulgar la ciencia y que llegue al máximo de gente posible. 

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Taurons: de depredador a presa

En aquesta ocasió us volem parlar d’un tema bastant delicat i que potser molts de vosaltres ni tant sols coneix, tot i que en els últims anys se’n parla bastant. Es tracta de l’aleteig de taurons, una pràctica insostenible i macabra que es produeix en les nostres aigües.

INTRODUCCIÓ

Els taurons, junt a les rajades i torpedes, formen el grup dels elasmobranquis. Es caracteritzen per la  manca d’espines òssies i tenen l’esquelet format per cartílags. Presenten vàries fileres de dents, les quals es van renovant contínuament. Els taurons, com que es troben a dalt de tot de les xarxes tròfiques, són animals depredadors. Això significa que devoren però no són devorats. De tota manera, això ja veurem que no és així, doncs hi ha una espècie que té la capacitat de pescar-los, tallar-els-hi les aletes i tornar-los a tirar al mar.

QUÈ ÉS L’ALETEIG DE TAURONS?

L’aleteig de taurons (conegut en anglès com a shark finning) consisteix en treure i guardar les aletes dels taurons i descartar la resta del cos.

4145Pescador tallant una aleta a un tauró (Foto: Gary Stokes; Sea Shepherd, Hong Kong).

L’animal molt sovint encara és viu quan es tira a l’aigua, de manera que no pot nedar i s’enfonsa lentament cap al fons del mar; on, encara viu, serveix d’aliment per altres organismes. Els pescadors només guarden les aletes doncs el seu valor econòmic és molt més alt que la carn de l’animal, de manera que descarten el cos per tal de tenir més espai per a més aletes. En el següent vídeo, el qual és molt dur de veure, podem veure aquesta activitat:

ÉS IL·LEGAL?

L’aleteig de taurons és una pràctica prohibida a tot Europa des de l’any 2003, amb l’aprovació del Reglament (CE) Nº 1185/2003 del Consell (de 26 de juny de 2003), sobre el tallament  de les aletes de tauró en bucs, però la legislació permetia desembarcar aletes sense el cos, sota permís, i si el pes de l’aleta no superava el 5% del pes de l’animal. Això significa que, malgrat la norma, l’aleteig continuava produint-se. Aquest reglament presentava un conjunt de buits legals que permetien, gràcies a l’article 4, expedir uns permisos especials que permetien tallar les aletes a bord dels vaixells i desembarcar aquestes i els cossos en ports diferents, el que suposava una gran dificultat per controlar que no es produís l’aleteig.

Per tot això, l’any 2011, la Comissió Europea proposa la obligatorietat de desembarcar els taurons amb les aletes adherides de forma natural al cos, la qual va ser àmpliament recolzada per les organitzacions conservacionistes, gran part de la comunitat científica, el públic en general, el Consell de Ministres de la UE i el Comitè de Medi Ambient de la UE. Però no tot era tant maco, doncs Espanya i Portugal, principals països pescadors de taurons a la UE, es van manifestar en contra d’aquesta reforma. Aquests dos països tenen una flota de palangrers d’altura que treballen a l’Atlàntic Nord.

Finalment, al juliol del 2013, s’aprova la modificació del reglament europeu sobre l’aleteig, el Reglament (UE), Nº 605/2013 del Parlament Europeu i el Consell (de 12 de juny de 2013) pel que es modifica el reglament de l’any 2003; i s’estableix la mesura d’obligar a desembarcar els cossos dels taurons amb les aletes adherides. Aquesta mesura ha estat eficaç en la lluita contra aquesta pràctica a la resta del món. Portugal i Espanya es varen oposar a aquesta mesura ja que reduïa molt el benefici, doncs les bodegues se’ls hi omplen abans.

PER QUÈ ES FA?

Aquesta mala pràctica pesquera es va expandir degut a l’elevat preu de les aletes de tauró al mercat asiàtic per a fer sopa d’aleta de tauró i per cures tradicionals. Per fer-nos una idea, cada quilo d’aleta fresca o congelada té un valor de 20€ (si és assecada el preu s’incrementa molt més), mentre que si és de carn el benefici és només d’1€. La UE captura taurons al Mediterrani i als oceans Atlàntic, Índic i Pacífic. És la potència mundial en pesca de tauró, amb un 17% de les captures declarades el 2009, i l’exportador més gran d’aletes a Hong Kong i a Xina.

_MG_7002Aletes de tauró escampades perquè s'assequin al sol (Gary Stokes; Sea Shepherd, Hong Kong).
_MG_7411Aletes de tauró escampades perquè s'assequin al sol (Gary Stokes; Sea Shepherd, Hong Kong).

QUINES ESPÈCIES ES PESQUEN?

Actualment, es pesquen moltes espècies de tauró ja que, malgrat el 28% de les espècies es consideren amenaçades d’extinció per la IUCN, no estan protegides moltes d’elles. A Espanya i Europa hi ha un total de 9 espècies protegides. A més, no hi ha establertes quotes pesqueres per a aquestes espècies, el que significa que es poden pescar fins a l’extinció. I per què no hi ha quotes? Doncs perquè la regulació de la pesca a la UE està molt condicionada per la pressió d’Espanya i Portugal. De tota manera, els especialistes estimen que cada any es maten 100 milions de taurons per les seves aletes.

La tintorera és l’espècie principal capturada per la flota palangrera de l’Atlàntic. Si ens fixem en les estadístiques de les captures de tintoreres declarades al port de Vigo (2468 tones i més de 3 milions d’euros de benefici, segons dades del Puerto de Vigo) es pot observar que és un gran negoci: és legal, no hi ha quotes i les aletes es paguen molt bé al mercat de les aletes de Hong Kong.

QUIN IMPACTE TÉ L’ALETEIG DE TAURONS?

L’aleteig té els següents impactes:

  • Pèrdua i devastació de les poblacions de taurons a tot el món. Els experts estimen que en una dècada, moltes espècies de taurons s’hauran perdut degut a la pesca de palangre.
  • Pesqueria insostenible. La gran quantitat de taurons pescats i la mancança de selecció farà manllevar les seves poblacions més ràpid del que ells tenen la capacitat de recuperar.
  • Amenaça l’estabilitat dels ecosistemes marins.
  • Impossibilita la recollida de dades fiables sobre captures de taurons.
  • Rebuig de proteïnes i altres productes derivats, doncs l’aleteig redueix l’ús dels productes del tauró en un 95%.

REFERÈNCIES

AGRAÏMENT

No voldria acabar aquest article sense agrair l’ajuda i paciència brindada per la Mónica Alonso Ruíz, responsable de comunicació i de Madrid de Alianza Tiburones Canarias, la qual m’ha informat i aportat gran part de la informació i les dades contingudes aquí.

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