Pirate fishermen target deep-sea sharks for liver oil

© OCEANA

Author: Angela Pauly
Date: October 5, 2012



Pirate fishermen have found a gold mine in deep-sea sharks and are illegally catching these vulnerable species to sell their highly valued liver oil.

In recent months, vessels which are internationally blacklisted because of previous Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported fishing activities (IUU fishing) have been engaging in rampant pirate fishing for deep-sea sharks in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Although the EU regulation on IUU fishing is intended to prohibit illegally-caught fish from entering the European market, a loophole in this law means that it does not apply to shark liver oil.

Oceana Europe Executive Director Xavier Pastor said this on Thursday: “Vulnerable deep-sea sharks have become the new gold pursued by internationally renowned poachers – including vessels that have been linked to European interests. As long as EU rules against IUU fishing neglect this product, European borders remain wide open to illegal shark liver oil.”

With slow growth rates and late maturity, deep-sea sharks are extremely vulnerable to overexploitation. That’s why Oceana is calling for the EU to close this loophole and help fightthis piracy.

Deep-sea shark liver oil contains squalene, which is used in Omega-3 dietary supplements, in cosmetics, and as industrial lubricants.. Did you know that you can also extract squalene from olive oil, rice bran and other plant based sources? Deep-sea sharks don’t need to be sacrificed for our health or beauty regimens.