Fish gear used by mako fish to survive in deep water is increasingly being imported by fishermen in Israel, with new regulations expected to curb the trade.
The Israeli government’s new guidelines, published last month, aim to curb imports of shark fins and other shark products by a government-funded program known as the Mako Fishing Gear Program.
The government, which is trying to increase the number of Israeli fishermen working on the Israeli waters, said it wants to stop the import of shark products to make the fishery more environmentally friendly.
The new guidelines require the imports of sharks from countries that are currently exporting them.
Israel has long been one of the largest shark-fishing countries in the world, exporting millions of tonnes of shark fin and other fins every year.
However, in recent years, it has been catching a much smaller share of these products.
The country exported almost one-fifth of its shark fin products to the United States in 2013, according to the Fish and Aquatic Products Association, while imports to the European Union increased by nearly three-quarters in 2013 to 2.2 million tonnes.
In 2014, the Israeli government introduced new rules allowing fishermen to buy shark fin from countries like China and Russia.
In December, a Chinese-owned fishery operator and a Russian-owned fisherman were arrested in Israel after a shark caught off the coast of the country.
Israeli officials said that they wanted to make sure that shark fin exports were controlled.
“The Mako program is a necessary step to bring the shark fin market into balance,” a statement from the Israeli Fisheries Ministry said.
“The Maka program is part of the Government’s efforts to tackle the environmental damage caused by the fishing industry.”
In January, Israel’s fisheries minister, Uri Ariel, announced that the government was going to introduce a new rule that would ban imports of all shark fins, regardless of where they come from.
The move was hailed as a significant change in Israeli government policy.
However, the new rules could face challenges.
According to the Israeli Center for Biological Diversity, the Mabo program has already been criticized for its lax rules and the lack of transparency in how it operates.
Ariel’s ministry also said that it was looking to impose additional restrictions on shark imports, and said that the country was considering creating a separate program to monitor imports.
The program was created in 2005 by the Israeli National Council for the Welfare of Sharks and rays, a group of fishermen, environmental organizations and government officials.