Hidden behind bad numbers: Official stats mask almost all shark and ray species caught in the Mediterranean and Black seas

Blue shark (Prionace glauca). Photo by Mark Conlin-NMFS, Wikimedia Commons.

Blue shark (Prionace glauca). Photo by Mark Conlin-NMFS, Wikimedia Commons.

Shark and ray species commonly caught in the Mediterranean and Black seas are not being reported in official statistics, new research from the Sea Around Us initiative at the University of British Columbia shows.

A new study published in Marine Policy reveals that 97 per cent of the sharks and rays caught and brought to market domestically by fleets from the European, North African and Middle Eastern countries that surround these seas are not reported by species.

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Fishing companies lose millions of dollars every year and they don’t know it

Menhaden fisheries in Louisiana, USA. Photo by Louisiana Sea Grant College Program Louisiana State University, Flickr, CC BY 2.0.

Menhaden fisheries in Louisiana, USA. Photo by Louisiana Sea Grant College Program Louisiana State University, Flickr, CC BY 2.0.

Fishing companies operating worldwide are missing between $51 billion and $83 billion in unrealized net economic benefits every year due to the overexploitation and underperformance of fish stocks. For these fishing companies, that means they are spending too much and getting fewer fish, revenues and profits than they could.

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Thai government shares information with the Sea Around Us

Thai fishing boat. Photo by Sea Dave, Flickr.

Thai fishing boat. Photo by Sea Dave, Flickr.

Following the publication of the paper “Thailand’s missing marine fisheries catch (1950-2014),” the Sea Around Us received an email from Thailand’s Department of European Affairs. We welcome such communications and engagements with countries.

The electronic communication included a series of media statements that highlight a range of initiatives undertaken by the Prayut Chan-o-cha government to promote best practices in the fisheries sector.

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