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The European Commission has proposed an action plan for the conservation
The European Commission has proposed an action plan for the conservation of sharks and related species that are threatened by overfishing, the EU fisheries commissioner said.

"Sharks are very vulnerable to overexploitation and the consequences of depleting their numbers may have very serious consequences not only for sharks but also for marine ecosystems and for fishermen themselves," Joe Borg said.

The plan, which also covers related species such as skates and rays, introduces a number of proposals to limit shark fishing and to improve scientific research to protect the endangered species.

The plan is to also reinforce control of the European Union's "shark finning ban," which entered into force in 2003. Shark fins are used to cook shark-fin soups, a popular East Asian delicacy.

The document, which is to "apply wherever the EU fleet operates, both within and outside European waters," could be approved by the EU until the end of the year, the EU commissioner said.

The EU fleet takes up to 100,000 metric tons of sharks a year. In the past two decades global catches of sharks have risen from 600,000 tons to more than 800,000 tons a year.


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