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A busy week in Malta has just kicked off. On one hand, the town of Saint Julian's will host the world’s premier conference on seafood sustainability: “Seaweb Seafood Summit” and on the other, there will be the “Economic advice in fisheries management” conference, taking place between February 4th and 5th. Oceana in Europe will attend both events, presenting results from the recently launched www.whofishesfar.org  at the latter.

It was in 2005 that Oceana in Europe received a very special gift: the Oceana Ranger, the catamaran that was to become our research vessel enabling us to get first-hand information about the situation of the seas and the creatures living in them. But we wanted more in-depth intelligence on what was going on down there, and in 2006 we started to work with an underwater robot or Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV).

Despite its name, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) is in in charge of ensuring the sustainable management of many fish species including sharks. Over the last few decades, catches of commercially fished sharks have continually increased, however no proper management measures have been put in place and catches continue to be unregulated.

Finally, Mediterranean swordfish has been recognised as an urgent issue that needs to be addressed. This is music to the ears of us at Oceana as we’ve been campaigning for this issue for many years. Finally, politicians have reacted to the terrible situation that has developed: after 30 years of overfishing, the stock is just one third of what it used to be in the 1980s.

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