Earlier this year it came to the attention of the SACGB that the Shark Trust are petitioning the Government for a ban on anglers fishing for Porbeagle sharks.
Porbeagle sharks are listed as a critically endangered species and it is the opinion of the Shark Trust that a ban is the only way to protect the species and increase their numbers.
Whilst the Shark Trust cannot impose any restrictions on shark fishing, they can lobby Government departments and have presented their case to them.
The Shark Trust are also partners in an upcoming study, with DEFRA and Exeter University, to look at the survival of sharks post-release, which means that they already have a direct line into the relevant Government departments.
The Shark Trust use media and social media very effectively and we do not underestimate their abilities or their resolve in achieving their objectives.
If the relevant Government departments decide a ban is appropriate this could happen very quickly as there is no requirement for primary legislation to be brought forward by the government to impose this and other restrictions to our sport.
Dealing with Government departments like DEFRA, CEFAS etc. requires skills and experience. Therefore, the decision has been taken to join the Angling Trust who have these capabilities.
By working with the Angling Trust and others we intend to present our views on the suggested Porbeagle ban and the Post Release Mortality Study to the relevant Government departments.
The SACGB have previously worked successfully with the Shark Trust and since, like them, we are fully committed to shark conservation we hope we can continue this relationship and our work to bring the sharking community closer to the conservationist/scientific communities.
We would also ask that you respect the views of those who do not agree with our sport. Whilst appropriate photographs of sharks are not offensive to us, they can be to others and the sport has a responsibility to recognise that.
In support of this it is our view that Facebook and other media formats should be managed on a closed group basis and not made available for general consumption.
We would also request that anglers/skippers refrain from talking to the media until this situation is resolved. We will update you as more information becomes available.