With a collective sigh of relief we can celebrate a MAHUSIVE step forward for elasmobranch conservation today!
Oceanic White Tips, Porbeagles, three hammerhead species and Manta Rays have been listed under CITES Appendix II meaning the trade in their parts will undergo international restrictions!
On top of that, Sawfish we’re upgraded to Appendix I which means no trade at all!
This is a historic, unprecedented and long overdue step forward for our oceans. A changing of the tide if you will.
Congrats to everyone whose blood, sweat and tears made this possible!
Read more: CITES4sharks press release
Elasmobranch Ecstasy at CITES!
What a day for Sharks and Manta Rays…all four proposals for Elasmobranch species at CITES were passed today. All elasmobranch species up for debate were voted YES for listing under Appendix II.
The final result will come on Thursday with the final plenary, so the fight isn’t over yet, but a positive result is thought to be very likely.
This will mean that fisheries for these species will be regulated to sustainable trade (not a ban on trade) only.
In 40 years of protecting endangered species trade through CITES, marine species have never had a day like today.This result is unprecedented as elasmobranchs have been shamefully overlooked for decades.
The following species got majority votes for their listing, with Mantas winning across board with a whopping 80%!
Keep your fins crossed for Thursday, but celebrate this significant step forward on this manic elasmobranch Monday for:
- Porbeagle sharks
- Three Hammerhead species
- Oceanic White Tip sharks
- Manta rays
- Sawfish (upgrade to Appendix I - no trade!)
A massive congratulations to all those whose research and hard work went into these proposals (Huzzah for Science!) and to those countries that voted YES!
Why is CITES such an important tool?
Why is so useful?
Why is it worth this tremendous effort?
Sue Lieberman breaks CITES (and how it can stimulate shark conservation through trade restriction) down into bite sized pieces. A must watch for anyone interested in marine biology and conservation.
As a marine biologist, understanding how your research fits into the ONLY global convention for flora and fauna is essential. It helps you understand and focus your efforts so that your data can actually effect positive change for a species.
It is so rare to have a convention like this, and all it’s nuances spelt out for you and Sue does an incredible job. So go on, cheat a little, find out how your piece fits in the puzzle.
Extinction is not an option
“I designed this wallpaper to raise awareness regarding the highly needed protection of sharks and rays.” Designed by Claudia Schmitt from Germany.
Check out this awesome desktop wallpaper depicting the four elasmobranch species up for listing by the Convention for International Trade of Endangered Flora and Fauna (CITES).
Signatory countries of this convention (almost all of them) are not allowed to trade in these animals and their parts without the appropriate permits. These are issued for things like biopsy samples etc., and are an important tool for restricting wildlife trade.
You may have heard a lot about the upcoming CITES meeting. Elasmobranchs are sorely lacking from CITES listing with only ten species currently listed.
Sharks and rays not only suffer from direct exploitation (fins and gill rakers), but are a significant component of by-catch in several fishing methods. On top of that, many are slow-growing, slow gestating species whose populations need much more time than we’re giving to recover.
The meeting in Bangkok is just around the corner, and you can help encourage your country representative to vote to protect these species. Who is your country representative you ask? Well, there’s a handy list from the CITES website!
So get writing, typing or whatever creative means you have of getting your message across! We’re running out of time.
Sir Richard Branson PSA - Protect Manta Rays
Leave bubbles, not handprints…
“Unfortunately it’s [manta rays’] gill rakers which make mantas a target for unsustainable fishing. Traded for use in Chinese medicine, the market for gill rakers is on the rise.” (via Magnificent Manta Rays Deserve a Big Shout Out | Project AWARE)
Demand for the gills of manta and mobula rays has risen dramatically in the past 10 years for use in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), even though they were not historically used for this purpose, a team of researchers from the conservation organizations Shark Savers and WildAid has discovered.
Jigsaw Mantas - learn more at Manta Ray of Hope