The Netherlands is one of the few EU Member State without shark fisheries to participate in meetings of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, the regional fisheries management body with the most shark conservation measures.
Since 2009, the Dutch Ministry has been working with NGOs on the implementation of a national shark action plan. This has so far resulted in improvements in shark catch, a scientific assessment of sharks in Dutch waters, and plans for a smoothhound tagging program in inshore areas.
In August 2011, Dutch officials were the subject of conservationists’ protests for allowing the auction and sale of a porbeagle shark, a species which is endangered and protected in the EU.
Landings reports for the Netherlands (available since 1997) reveal catches of three different species of sharks and three species of rays. By tonnage, this catch is reportedly made up almost entirely of rays, primarily spotted and thornback varieties.
Shark catch over the last decade consisted mainly of spurdog and tiger sharks while incidental catches of blue shark were reported in 2007 and 2009. Dutch shark catches reported for the eastern Atlantic probably come from waters off the West African coast.
The Netherlands has 25 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), 20 (80%) of whom signed the Written Declaration 71/2010 in support of strengthening the European Union ban on shark finning.
|The Netherlands does not issue the special permits that allow EU fishermen to remove shark fins at sea under the current EU finning regulation. Dutch fishermen are therefore required to land sharks with their fins still attached The Dutch Fisheries Ministry has expressed support for better protection for sharks and, in particular, the closure of loopholes in the current finning regulation. At the March 2012 EU Fisheries Council, the Netherlands supported the Commission’s proposal to require all sharks to be landed with fins attached.
|Beyond EU and international commitments, there are no national protections for shark and ray species in The Netherlands.
||You can find a full list of Netherlands-based members of the Shark Alliance on our members' pages.
Netherlands Country Profile
EU Shark Conservation: Recent Progress and Priorities for Action
State of the art haaien by Imares
25.08.2011 Illegally caught shark auctioned in Scheveningen Read
Concerned citizens, particularly those of the Netherlands, can help by expressing to Dutch officials support for:
- active promotion for an EU-wide ban on at-sea shark fin removal
- continued complete closure of EU porbeagle, spurdog, and deepwater shark fisheries
- leadership within EU delegations to international fisheries meetings
- national protections for endangered shark and ray species, and
- recording of shark and ray landings and trade by species and product.