The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has included the shortfin mako on their list of managed pelagic sharks, and reduced the number of commercial and recreational catches allowed per year by 50 percent. Although it is hoped that this measure will help to counteract declining numbers, the regulations only apply to the United States and Gulf waters, while the other populations remain as vulnerable as ever (3). A short-lived experimental longline fishery was once used to target early juveniles off California, but it was closed in 1992 due to concerns over the exploitation of immature fish. Targeting juveniles means these individuals are killed before ever reproducing, exacerbating the species' decline (9). Although currently classified only as Lower Risk / Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List 2007 (1), the shortfin mako, like any other shark, is susceptible to over-fishing if not carefully managed (9). Thus, protective measures and fishing quotas implemented by other fishing nations would greatly help to safeguard the future of this magnificent, leaping shark, for years to come.
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