CITES for Sharks: Updates on Protections

As promised in our last post on the CITES conference, here are the updates from last night’s vote:

  • All five sharks on the ballot for Appendix II protection passed a two-thirds majority vote, and were tentatively given protection. The two other elasmobranchs on the ballot fared well too – the manta ray was voted in for protection, and the freshwater sawfish was voted to be transfered from Appendix II to Appendix I.
  • These protections are not permanent yet. There could be a final vote on Thursday if the CITES delegates open the floor again for a vote during the plenary session. In 2010, the porbeagle lost its protection through such a vote.

For more info on what these protections mean for the sharks, the BBC’s environmental correspondant has a straight-forward analysis. Shark Advocates International also has fact sheets for the individual species, explaining why they should be afforded CITES protection.

Update: All five species of sharks, plus the manta ray and the freshwater sawfish, were not brought up to vote again during the plenary session. This means that all the species are listed as protected.

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