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Minister Schouten promises: Better Protection for ‘Dutch’ Sharks and Rays

The populations of sharks and rays in the North Sea have decreased dramatically …

In 2015 former Secretary of State Martijn van Dam promised the same: better protection for Dutch sharks and rays. In the Netherlands and the Caribbean.

But uptil now, no measures have been taken from the side of the  government. Will it happen this time? More and more often we hear about more landed sharks, for example the smooth spotted shark, which used to be released as it had no commercial value. With depleting other fish stocks and the growing interest in ‘exotic’ dishes, this changed. From Least Concern, the status of the species is already changed into to Vulnerable. And that is just one example: most other species are Endangered, the angel shark is even Critically Endangered.

We hope that this minister will now take real action and implement real regulations, like exceptions in the (coming) landing obligation for certain species, protected areas where the species can reproduce (such as our own Zeeland Delta!).

This should also be encouraged within the European Union: the animals migrate across borders, often over long distances, even from Norway to Spain and the Azores. In the project Sharks and Rays Back into the North Sea, we collaborate with several partners on the conservation of our Dutch elasmobranchs. More research, more information, cooperation with fishermen. More protection. We hope Minister Carola Schouten will join us in this!

Links: (Dutch only):

The Jeugdjournaal interviewed Niels Brevé, shark and ray specialist of our partner Sportvisserij Nederland. The report showed extensive footage of our Dutch Shark Society photographer / videographer Peter Verhoog, the best known shark photographer in the Netherlands.

Our Project Partner WWF NL published a ‘sharky’ high-five to do list for minister Carola Schouten:




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