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For decades, the waters around the EU had been beset by overfishing and careless disregard for critical species and ecosystems. Recognizing that the status quo was rapidly degrading the EU’s seas, the conservation organization Pew started working  in 2004, pursuing shark conservation along with two other initiatives: one to reform the EU Common Fisheries Policy, which sets species-specific catch limits, and another to win conservation measures for the deep sea, including stopping bottom trawling, which damages sensitive habitats and threatens numerous species.

Fishermen plying EU waters don’t encounter signposts declaring the number of sharks in the sea, the health of deep sea ecosystems, or the overall state of the fisheries. But thanks to reforms in fisheries management in the EU over the past decade, fishing crews and scientists are seeing signs that the health of the ocean is improving, a trend that should continue if European governments honor their commitments to better manage the marine environment, keeping the oceans healthy and maintaining balance in the food web.

Source: http://magazine.pewtrusts.org.