Natura 2000 is the centerpiece of the European Union nature & biodiversity policy. Is the largest network of protected areas in the world. The aim of the network is to assure the long-term survival of Europe's most valuable and threatened species and habitats.
Over the last 20 years, the worldwide catch of sharks and rays has increased by nearly 35%. Today it stands at more than 800,000 tons. As a result, some of these stocks are now under threat, including those in European waters.
Take the example of the spurdog. This small bottom-feeding shark used to be the target of the biggest shark fishery in Europe, with an annual take reaching 60,000 tons in the 1960s.