EU backs deep-sea shark hunt quota for scientists

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EU countries on Monday approved the capture of a set quota of deep-sea sharks, to allow scientists to better understand how many of the species are left.

There has been a total ban on the hunting of vulnerable sharks in European Union waters and the international waters of the Northeast Atlantic since 2012.

But European Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella said fisheries ministers meeting in Brussels had agreed on “a small trial by-catch allowance for deep-sea sharks which would enable scientists to help us understand better the state of these stocks”.

The ministers agreed reduced quotas up to 2018 for many other fish—including most black scabbardfish, red seabream and greater forkbeard and all roundnose grenadier—based on “scientific advice and by the status of these stocks”, Vella said.

The deep-sea fishing quotas were agreed unanimously for the first time since the EU began placing limits on the catching of vulnerable species six years ago.