(SHARKS/OCEAN CONSERVATION) Last week, Mexico announced a permanent ban on the capture of great white sharks off both of the country’s coasts to help preserve the species.

Now, sharks caught by accident during commercial fishing operations or by recreational fishermen must be thrown back into the sea. This is in sharp contrast to Australia’s recently adopted shark culling policy off the southwest coast in response to seven shark attacks over three years.

Read below to find out more about Mexico’s great white shark fishing ban. — Global Animal

Though one-third to one-half of shark attacks are attributed to great whites, they are rarely fatal. Photo Credit: National Geographic/Brian J. Skerry
Mexico has banned the capture of the great white shark. Photo Credit: National Geographic/Brian J. Skerry

Fish Information Services, Analia Murias

The Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food(Sagarpa) decided to set a permanent ban on the capture of white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) in order to conserve the resource and protect its reproduction in national waters of federal jurisdiction.

The measure, which applies to federal waters of both Mexican coasts, came into force on Tuesday 28 January.

Under the new decree published in the Official Gazette for this purpose, specimens of white sharks that are caught incidentally during commercial fishing operations for other species must be released back to the sea.

Since 2004, the country has a National Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks, Rays and Related Species in Mexico (Panmct).

Most fatal attacks involve great whites. Photo Credit: Mother Nature Network
Although most fatal shark attacks involve great whites, Mexico is calling for a permanent ban on capturing great white sharks in order to help save the species. Photo Credit: Mother Nature Network

The authority established all administrative and regulatory measures to contribute to the preservation of the species, which are applied through the National Commission of Aquaculture and Fisheries (Conapesca).

According to fishery biological studies conducted by experts from the National Fisheries Institute (Inapesca), the white shark is a resource of slow growth, low reproductive potential and long life.

It is present in small populations, which makes it a vulnerable resource.

In 1998, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) carried out a consultation on shark fishing, and in 1999, the International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks was adopted during the 23rd Session of the Committee on Fisheries of the FAO.

This plan is an instrument of international fisheries management, voluntary, whose goal is to ensure the sustainability and long-term utilization of sharks.

More Fish Information Services: http://www.fis.com/fis/worldnews/worldnews.asp?monthyear=1-2014&day=30&id=66142&l=e&country=&special=&ndb=1&df=0