Invasive alien species (IAS) cost the EU an estimated EUR 12 billion per year, prompting the European Commission to push for an EU-wide approach to tackle the issue. The phenomenon, which occurs when plants and animals are deliberately or unintentionally introduced by human action to a new environment where they establish, reproduce and proliferate, is causing serious problems for biodiversity. The dedicated legal instrument aims to tackle the problem through a new harmonised system and a shift from “cure” to “prevention”.
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.