Proposal 15: Porbeagle (Lamna nasus)

 / ©: Richard Peirce
Porbeagle shark.
© Richard Peirce
Proposal: 15
Proponent: Germany (on behalf of the EU Member States)
Summary of proposal: Inclusion of the porbeagle Lamna nasus in Appendix II, in accordance with Article II 2(a), with an annotation to delay implementation for 18 months.

WWF position SUPPORT

For WWF's full position, including the rationale and further information, please see page 10 in WWF Positions CITES COP14. Download PDF (3.6 MB | 48 pages)

Why is WWF supporting this proposal?

  • The porbeagle — a relatively slow-growing, late-maturing, long-lived shark — is highly vulnerable to overexploitation
  • This vulnerability is exacerbated by the fact that fisheries target both mature and large juvenile animals
  • While unsustainable North Atlantic target porbeagle fisheries are well documented, very few data are available for southern hemisphere stocks; however, the data that are available show declining trends
  • There is international demand for, and trade in, the high-value meat and fins
  • Due to a lack of Harmonized System Custom codes, trade data for the species are limited but the evidence shows that inclusion of the species in Appendix II is warranted due to the scale of declines in some stocks
  • Inclusion of the species in Appendix II will help ensure that international trade will be supplied by sustainably managed fisheries that are not detrimental to the status of the wild populations
  • An Appendix II listing will complement and re-inforce traditional fisheries management measures, and also contribute to implementation of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks.

Porbeagle quick facts

Current status: Vulnerable

Found in: Temperate waters in the Southern and North Atlantic Oceans

Males: Mature after up to 8 years

Females: Mature at 13-19 years

Longevity: 26+ years

Interesting biology: Warm-blooded, top predator

Population status: Declined by up to 89% in the North Atlantic; few data for populations in the Southern Hemisphere but evidence of 50-80% declines in 10 years in some areas

Traded as: Fresh, frozen, and dried-salted meat for human consumption; oil and fishmeal for fertilizer; and fins for shark-fin soup

Caught in: Intensive directed fisheries, also as bycatch in longline pelagic fisheries for tuna and swordfish

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