Large Marine Fish Conservation
We design and support strategies that sustain the health and key role of these predators, both in the oceans and in our lives. Our legacy is protecting the billfish, tunas, and sharks that are the lions, tigers, and wolves of the sea. Conservation of these iconic, wide-ranging fish requires a collaborative, long-term and multifaceted approach.
By removing too many of the sea’s keystone predators, we weaken an entire tier at the top of the food chain. This may have dire biological consequences throughout the ecosystem, far beyond the social, economic and moral costs of depleted ocean fisheries.
Unfortunately, although these big fish have few natural predators, they are among the most threatened fish in the sea. The reasons these fish are threatened are three-fold: exploitation at rates faster than the fish can reproduce; indiscriminate and wasteful fishing practices; and ineffective management, at the national and international levels.
Wild Oceans has a long record of accomplishments working to protect and restore marlin and sailfish, swordfish, bluefin and other tunas, and sharks. Our activities cover a broad range of issues critical to the future of large ocean fish, among them: implementing recovery plans for all overfished species, featuring rebuilding targets and timetables; reducing commercial bycatch of non-target fish and other wildlife by promoting changes to more selective, sustainable fishing gears (best fishing practices); and promoting catch-and-release fishing among sport anglers and the use of circle hooks to enhance survival.
Support and develop strategies that rebuild and sustain the health and resilience of large marine fish, their habitat, and their role in the ecosystem.
Objective 1: Develop approaches that promote international compliance with precautionary rebuilding plans.
Develop approaches that promote international compliance with precautionary rebuilding plans.
Identify management practices that build resilience to the impacts of climate change on migratory patterns, habitat, and trophic interactions.
Identify and promote the use of innovative fishing methods in addition to proven techniques to minimize bycatch and bycatch mortality, and promote sustainable levels of directed harvest.
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A RESPITE FOR MAKO
In November, after more than a decade of warning about the vulnerability and decline of North Atlantic shortfin mako shark, international managers banned the retention of all shortfin mako sharks for two years. International scientists have advised that a moratorium is the most immediate step we can take to reverse the decline and rebuild the population, but it will still take more than five decades to fully recover this deeply depleted population.
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