• Spain's news in English

Spanish 'wall of death' killing UK sharks

Kenneth Londoño · 7 May 2014, 14:34

Published: 07 May 2014 14:34 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Blue and Mako sharks, the main types of sharks found in Britain are being killed on their routes across the Atlantic by 60-mile (96 kilometre) fishing lines armed with hooks used by Iberian fishing fleets.

As many as three to four million sharks are being killed annually by the longline fishing, the UK's Sunday Times reported recently.

Tourists and shark anglers in Cornwall in the UK's west used to catch thousands of sharks annually, and now only catch hundreds.

"We found that the sharks are congregating where warm and cool currents meet. These are highly productive areas that attract fish – and that attracts sharks too," David Sims, professor of marine ecology at the MBA, told the Sunday Times.

Fishing vessels also find themselves in these waters, where overfishing poses a problem to vulnerable species of fish.

At the rate in which these vessels fish, fish populations do not have enough time to breed, Sims said.

"The basic problem is not really one of Spanish and Portuguese fleets 'stealing' sharks from the UK: it's that the European Union still doesn't have a management plan for sharks," Alex Bartoli of the Shark Alliance told The Local.  

"Fleets fish for tuna and swordfish in these areas and sharks are a secondary capture. But there are no limits on the number of sharks captured or on the size of the fish that can be taken," he explained  

Story continues below…

The Shark Alliance, a group of non-governmental organizations, has repeatedly called for closer regulation of shark fishing in the EU in a bid to protect the animals.

Don't miss stories about Spain, join The Local on Facebook and Twitter.

Kenneth Londoño (kalondon@syr.edu)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Recipe: How to make classic Spanish ham croquettes
Photo: thespanishcuisine.com

Learn how to make this all-time Spanish favourite at home.

Halloween weekend: Sunny skies and nightmare traffic
Authorities expect 5.5 million cars to take to the road over the 'puente'. Archive photo: AFP

Spain is set for great weather over the long weekend. But be prepared for nightmare traffic.

Southern Spain will become a desert with global warming
Photo: Steven Stralton / Flickr

Southern Spain will become a desert if global warning continues, scientists have warned.

Eight Spanish films to truely terrify you this Halloween
Photo: Corie Howell / Flickr Creative Commons.

Looking for something to give you goosebumps this Halloween? The Local looks at eight Spanish films that are sure to have you cowering beneath the covers.

Spain's Socialists refuse to go easy on Rajoy once in power
Photo: AFP

Spain's Socialists may have reluctantly decided to let Mariano Rajoy govern again but they will not go easy on the acting conservative premier once he re-takes power, they warned on Thursday.

Spain's Podemos sees golden opportunity in Socialist woes
Pablo Iglesias is ready to step up in opposition. Photo: AFP

As Spain's conservatives prepare to re-take power after 10 months of political limbo, anti-austerity party Podemos has set its sights on replacing the divided Socialists as the main opposition force.

Wildlife ranger accused over decapitated bison in Valencia
The headless corpse of Sauro was found last month. Photo: Carlos Alamo / Reserva de Valdeserrillas

The case of the beheaded bison at a wildlife reserve in Valencia just got a whole lot weirder.

Spain jobless drops below 20% for first time in six years
The unemployed queuing up outside a Madrid job centre. Photo: AFP

Spain's unemployment fell below 20 percent for the first time in six years, official figures showed on Thursday.

'Saints not ghouls' insists Spanish church for Halloween
Suggested outfits from the Bishopric of Cadiz and Ceuta. Photo: Shower of Roses

Spanish bishops are urging good Christian children to forgo zombie, ghost and devil outfits and instead dress up as "saints, virgins and apostles".

Tough road ahead, Spain PM warns before return to power
Rajoy will try and form a government this week. Photo: AFP

Spain's acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warned on Wednesday of a tough road ahead as he prepares to take power again at the head of a minority government with little support.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available