Thursday, August 28, 2014

Five New Shark Species and Manta Rays to Be Protected by International Agreement

Effective September 14, 2014, five new shark species and all manta rays will be protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), an international agreement among 180 countries.

The five new species of protected sharks will be the oceanic whitetip, porbeagle, scalloped hammerhead, great hammerhead and smooth hammerhead shark. These five sharks will be joining the basking, whale and great white which were added to the list nearly ten years ago.

In the release, CITIES notes that although the listed species are not necessarily threatened with extinction, the species will be protected by strict international trade controls adding that any trade must avoid utilization incompatible with their survival.

While commercially-exploited aquatic species have been included over the years, these recent listings set new challenges and opportunities for membership governments to ensure that trade is legal, sustainable, and traceable, even for highly traded fisheries commodities.

For more information, read the CITIES release here.