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Parliamentary questions
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18 September 2020
Question for written answer E-005114/2020
to the Commission
Rule 138
Caroline Roose (Verts/ALE), Pierre Karleskind (Renew), Isabel Carvalhais (S&D), Nora Mebarek (S&D), Benoît Biteau (Verts/ALE), Grace O'Sullivan (Verts/ALE), Francisco Guerreiro (Verts/ALE), Catherine Chabaud (Renew), Eric Andrieu (S&D)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Protection of shortfin mako sharks in the framework of International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas

The Commission has just started a cycle of coordination meetings with the Member States in order to establish the official proposals of the European Union for the annual International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT meeting) in November 2021.

According to the latest scientific advice from the ICCAT Standing Committee on Research and Statistics (SCRS) (1) , the endangered North Atlantic shortfin mako shark is being heavily overfished, is in decline and has very worrying levels of biomass. The shortfin mako is considered to be a by-catch of swordfish fisheries. The management recommendations are very clear and call for the urgent adoption of a policy of non-retention of this species without exception, in addition to by-catch mitigation measures, as has already been done for other shark species.

The stock is mostly exploited by European vessels (Spanish and Portuguese vessels in particular).

1. Will the Commission follow and support the formal recommendations of the SCRS in its upcoming negotiations with the Member States?

2. If it is planning to continue to allow the retention and landing of shortfin mako, what scientific evidence is there that mortality will be reduced to sustainable levels?

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