Conservation body agrees to protect silky sharks

November 19, 2011 - 6:00 AM

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Marine advocacy groups say delegates at an international conservation meeting have agreed on steps to protect a vulnerable species of shark.

The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) agreed Saturday that all silky sharks accidentally caught during fishing must be released.

The decision came at the end of a weeklong meeting in Istanbul.

An exception was made for coastal developing countries where the sharks could be caught for local consumption.

The Oceana advocacy group welcomed the development calling it a "strong step" to protect a species threatened by the international shark fin trade.

It said, however, that no measure had been taken to protect porbeagle sharks, or to establish catch limits for blue and shortfin mako sharks.