Correspondence | Published:


Shark-fin landing policy aids control

Nature volume 533, page 469 (26 May 2016) | Download Citation


David Sims and Nuno Queiroz call for tighter fisheries regulations for species caught by European fleets as by-catch, using shortfin mako and blue sharks as examples (Nature 531, 448; 2016). However, their arguments with respect to these species have been overtaken by policy developments.

In 2013, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union adopted a new regulation that amends a 2003 legal act about the removal of fins of sharks on board vessels. Sharks must now be landed with their fins attached, so gutted carcasses of swordfish can no longer be passed off as shortfin mako.

As an indicator of that policy's success, actual shortfin mako landings of the EU fleet made up 16.5% and 9.7% of blue-shark landings in 2013 and 2014, respectively (, in line with the typical proportions quoted by Sims and Queiroz.


  1. 1.

    The views expressed are those of the author and not an official position of the European Commission.

Author information


  1. European Commission, Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Brussels, Belgium.

    • Alexander J. Stein


  1. Search for Alexander J. Stein in:

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Alexander J. Stein.

About this article

Publication history



Disclaimer declared (see for details).


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing