[Steve Backshall © Andrew Aitchison.]

No Limits?

Join us and Steve Backshall to stop uncontrolled shark fishing now!

All around the world vast amounts of sharks are being fished at a phenomenal rate. The numbers reported are staggering but even more worryingly the total amount of sharks being caught is likely to be much higher than the numbers show.

Sharks are extremely vulnerable to overfishing because they grow very slowly, take a long time to reach breeding age and only produce a few young, compared to other fish. If too many are caught too quickly they won’t be able to reproduce fast enough to keep up, and may disappear from our oceans. If this happens all sorts of problems can occur as the delicate balance of marine ecosystems is disrupted.

The EU is responsible for a substantial amount of the world’s shark catches and, in some oceans like the Atlantic, the majority of sharks they catch are No Limits? species - Blue Shark, Shortfin Mako, Tope, smoothhound and catsharks. None of these sharks have catch limits in the EU, which means that fisheries can catch as many as they like, and the number of shark landings is soaring!

Blue Shark © Charles Hood.

Blue Shark © Charles Hood.

Shortfin Mako Shark © Charles Hood.

Shortfin Mako Shark © Joe Romeiro.

Smoothhound Shark © Peter Verhoog, Dutch Shark Society.

Smallspotted Catshark © Dave Peake.

Smallspotted Catshark © Sally Sharrock.

Tope Shark © Matthew Meier.

Tope Shark © Charles Hood.

The largest EU shark fisheries are longliners, which are fishing for tuna and swordfish - although not targeting sharks they can make up to 80% of their catch. As sharks are in demand they are taken back to shore for sale (landed). This fishing method may use around 200 longlines baited with 3000 hooks and stretching up to 60 miles – so can catch a lot of sharks! Closer to shore nets and trawls are also used to catch sharks.

Any unwanted catch is discarded back into the sea (discards). Sadly many species of fish do not survive, but sharks are made of tougher stuff and have a high survival rate - if given the chance. However, if fisheries are only able to catch a certain amount of sharks, then this will discourage them from catching too many in the first place. This is why we urgently want catch limits for all the No Limits? sharks.

Fishermen rely on the oceans for their livelihood, and there will always be demand for sharks, but we need to ensure that fishing is sustainable so that both sharks and fishing communities have a future. No Limits? No Future!

How you can help?

Pledge your support (pdf) - please don't forget to send us your creations!

➤ Spread the word and let anyone over the age of 18 know about our petition at www.nolimitsnofuture.org.

➤ Adopt our No Limits? sharks.