Shark Stewards Works to Save Sharks at CITES

Shark Stewards is joining forces with the Shark Research Institute and US Fish and Wildlife to advocate and lobby to increase protection for sharks and rays under CITES Appendix II. We are representing for increased protection for increasingly endangered mako sharks, white spotted wedgefish and giant guitarfish. Scheduled to be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka in late May, due to sectarian violence, the CoP18 meetings will be held August 17-28 in Geneva. 

These species are globally threatened due to the high demand for fins in the shark fin trade.  The Governments of Senegal, Sri Lanka, and Mexico announced they would sponsor proposals to protect some of the worlds most endangered sharks at this year’s CITES Conference of the Parties (CoP18). The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Delegates will consider listing shortfin and longfin mako sharks, 10 species of white-spotted wedgefish, and 6 species of giant guitarfish under CITES Appendix II at CoP18.

It has been estimated that the international trade in wild plants and animals worth billions of dollars a year.  The harmful trade of shark fin is threatening the survival of many species of sharks. Momentum for international protections for sharks and rays continues to grow, with a record 67 governments co-sponsoring one or more listing proposals in the lead-up to this year’s Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Conference of the Parties (CoP18).

Species listed under Appendix II can be traded internationally but only if the trade does not cause detriment to them in the wild.