The mako shark will be better protected in the future after a majority decision of the UN Conference on Species Conservation. The top predator should now be listed on the so-called Appendix 2 of the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites), along with 18 other shark and ray species. Then catching nations must collect data and may fish the sharks only if they prove that the fishery does not endanger the survival of the species.
The mako shark is on the Red List of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) as highly endangered. The numbers have fallen by up to 76 percent in about 75% of its range. In the Mediterranean it is almost extinct. There, makos are illegally sold by illegal fishermen to restaurants, which then offer the shark to ignorant tourists as swordfish.
The USA, New Zealand, China, Japan and other countries had voted against the additional protection of the Mako. Representatives of environmental organisations welcomed the decision as an important step towards sustainable fisheries management. Trade regulation will be decided on Wednesday.