Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland

Sharks threatened by overfishing in Swedish waters

Share this article

Sharks threatened by overfishing in Swedish waters
14:35 CEST+02:00
Continued fishing threatens to kill off several species of sharks from Swedish waters, researchers warn.

Northeastern Atlantic populations of the most common variety, the spiny dogfish shark, have dropped by 95 to 98 percent in the last 20 years.

The EU has quotas for catches of spiny dogfish shark which are much higher than what researchers suggest, writes the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper.

A shark lobbying organization, the Shark Alliance, hopes that Sweden, which is the EU's most shark-friendly country, will bring up the threatened fish in with EU authorities.

But opposition to a ban on fishing is strong, especially in Spain.

The Mediterranean country is home to the world's third largest shark fishing fleet, which is primarily out after shark fins, considered a culinary delicacy.

The spiny dogfish shark is also a popular dish often found on Swedish dinner tables. The fish is also sought after for its liver oil.

“Sharks are extra sensitive to high fishing pressure because their reproduction is so slow,” said Barbara Bland of Swedish Board of Fisheries to SvD.

Sharks reach reproductive maturity relatively late in life. The spiny dogfish isn't ready to produce until it is 10 to 14 years old, and has a 24 month pregnancy, as well as slow egg development.

There are up to 19 varieties of sharks in Swedish waters, but aside from the spiny dogfish shark, only the small-spotted catshark is more common.

There is currently a total ban on fishing the small-spotted catshark.

Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article


From our sponsors

Change the world with a master's degree from Sweden's Linköping University

Master's students at world-leading Linköping University (LiU) aren't there simply to study. They solve real-world problems alongside experts in fields that can create a better tomorrow. Do you have what it takes to join them?