eBay: Stop Selling Endangered Shark and Ray Parts

eBay is openly allowing the traffic of parts from endangered and protected sawfish and sharks, namely sawfish rostrum and shark jaws protected under the Endangered Species Act, and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

The National Oceanic and Oceanographic Administration lists the narrow sawfish (Anoxypristis cuspidata), dwarf sawfish (Pristis clavata), largetooth sawfish (collectively Pristis pristis; formerly Pristis pristis, Pristis microdon, and Pristis perotteti), green sawfish (Pristis zijsron), and the non-U.S. DPS of smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata)—at risk of extinction throughout all of their ranges and should be considered an endangered species.

eBay is openly allowing the traffic of endangered shark parts, namely sawfish rostrum and shark jaws protected under the Endangered Species Act, and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). 

We call on eBay to strengthen and enforce their own wildlife policy and block all sales of products from endangered and protected species.

Shark Stewards

The National Oceanic and Oceanographic Administration lists the narrow sawfish (Anoxypristis cuspidata), dwarf sawfish (Pristis clavata), largetooth sawfish (collectively Pristis pristis; formerly Pristis pristis, Pristis microdon, and Pristis perotteti), green sawfish (Pristis zijsron), and the non-U.S. DPS of smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata)—at risk of extinction throughout all of their ranges and should be considered an endangered species.

All species of sawfish in the family Pristidae are listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). In 2007 CITES delegates agreed to add sawfish to its Appendix 1, which “includes species threatened with extinction”. Their distribution was presumably once continuous in suitable habitat, but is now severely fragmented with many populations extirpated from large parts of their former ranges and with remaining populations seriously depleted.

Additionally mako jaws (Isurus oxyrinchus), listed as Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and white shark jaws (Carcharodon carcharias) listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN, are both protected under CITES Appendix II. Scores of jaws have been documented for sale on eBay as of May 4, 2020. 

  • Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction. Trade in specimens of these species is permitted only in exceptional circumstances.
  • Appendix II includes species not necessarily threatened with extinction, but in which trade must be controlled in order to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival.

A 2004 study of eBay sales of sawfish snouts found about 20 transactions a month. Prices averaged $119 a snout but went as high as $1,242. In 2006 eBay vowed to ban sales of smalltooth sawfish.

Today sawfish rostra are selling for over $1400.00 and white shark jaws over $5000.00. It appears that eBay is allowing sellers loopholes by calling these rostra “antique” and placing the onus of CITES documentation and permitting onto the buyer, thereby violating their own policy on wildlife.  

All of the aforementioned species are listed by the IUCN as declining and some have been greatly reduced throughout their range and are at risk of extinction.

We call oneBay to strengthen and enforce its wildlife policy to block all sales of endangered and protected species.