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New guidelines to design legislation and regulations for conservation and management of cartilaginous fish

The Guidelines provide technical guidance on designing national legislation and regulations for conservation and management of cartilaginous fish. They build on the 2007 IUCN Red List assessment of the conservation status of chondrichthyans in the Mediterranean as well as international environmental and fisheries instruments applicable to the Mediterranean.

The Guidelines are divided into four complementary sections. First, system-wide steps to review and improve legislation are proposed in accordance with the ecosystem and precautionary approaches. The second section covers strengthening of institutional and management frameworks through improved sectoral coordination, active cooperation with international organisations, stakeholder engagement, public awareness and expanding research, data collection and monitoring to improve baseline data on stock exploitation rates. The third section provides detailed guidance on legal measures to protect threatened species, regulate trade in accordance with international law, sustainably manage fishing effort and catch (including by-catch), prohibit destructive and wasteful shark finning practices, manage recreational fisheries, and enforce controls on illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing. The fourth section covers legal measures to conserve critical habitats, establish marine protected areas and support the integrated management of marine and costal ecosystems.