November 14, 2014
Federal Court Stands Up for Sharks
The federal government must reconsider the protection of porbeagle sharks in the Northwest Atlantic, a court has ruled. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia rejected the National Marine Fisheries Service’s basis for denying an HSUS legal petition to list the sharks under the Endangered Species Act.
Commercial fishing has wiped out up to 90 percent of the population in the last 40 years, and porbeagles continue to be targeted as trophies in shark tournaments.
The National Marine Fisheries Service misread the scientific evidence to deny the petition. The court ordered the agency to reconsider this important marine conservation issue, especially in light of the fact that the international community has now agreed that porbeagle sharks need increased protection.
Jonathan Lovvorn, senior vice president of animal protection litigation for The HSUS said: “Porbeagle sharks have been driven to the brink of extinction and it’s time for the federal government to get onboard with the international effort to protect this species from both overfishing and cruel and unsporting shark-killing tournaments.”
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