Europeans are overfishing sharks, warn conservationists

LAST UPDATED: 20 Oct, 2012 @ 21:57
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Europeans are overfishing sharks, warn conservationists

By James Bryce

CONSERVATIONISTS have warned that European demand for omega-3 supplements is causing an increase in the overfishing of sharks.

Valuable oils found in the livers of deep-sea sharks are highly-prized because they are used in fish oil supplements, which have become increasingly fashionable in recent years.

This has led green groups to condemn the actions of ‘pirate’ fishermen who take advantage of laws allowing shark oil extracted from species caught outside the EU, including the elusive goblin shark, to be sold here.

“The omega-3 tablets that we buy come from lots of different sources but there are some that are shark liver oil,” said Allison Perry, a marine wildlife scientist with the charity Oceana Europe.

“There are some vessels actively targeting deep-water sharks.”

The fats found in the oil are thought to increase heart, body and brain health, although this has been questioned by some scientists.

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