In certain circumstances, and here the numbers are unfortunately increasing nowadays, the Blue Shark cannot disentangle and free itself but stays stuck in the hooks for hours. As if this was not already horrible enough, the nightmare continues: Once the sharks are fully entangled in the hooks and the longline is retrieved by the fishermen, the scenario continues on land: Any bycatch- species should be, theoretically, carefully released from the hooks and softly put back into the sea. But nowadays, these shark- bycatch are used for another reason: Finning. On the vessel, fishermen may decide either to keep the whole shark (usually unreported) or to even chop off the shark’s fins. As you can see on our website, https://www.stop-finning.eu/finning/, the sharks’ fins are brutally cut off, meanwhile the shark is alive and feels all the pain (sharks have a similar nervous system than humans, a Central Nervous System, which makes them feel pain like humans).
After this torture, fishermen usually throw back the remaining and bleeding bodies of the sharks, while keeping the fins for future sale. Sharks cannot survive without fins and these deep harms, so they are sentenced to death when thrown back to the sea.
The Blue Sharks usually live and hunt in groupsà longlines usually bycatch more than one Blue Shark
Blue Sharks are extremely important in the marine food webà they are top predators, and additionally feed on carcasses of whales, smaller sharks and dolphins. Without Blue Sharks, the marine food web would change dramatically.
As already mentioned, most bycatch- rates often remain poorly reported or even unreported, which is the reason why it is, until today, difficult to track down these unethical and cruel ways of fishing. Only with your help, by signing our citizen`s initiative at https://www.stop-finning.eu/, you can stop this cruel, illegal and irresponsible behavior.
According to the IUCN, the Blue Shark Prionace glauca`s status is Near Threatened – this means that the population of this species is sinking and may become threatened soon.
Until now, there is no reliable statistic for the catches of the Blue Shark. What is known so far is that catches were reported in Spain, France and Denmark, consumed mainly in Spain, Italy, Brazil and France, but numbers are not accurate. As you can see – the European Union is a big player in this illegal trade. Get active and VOTE!