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CITES: Crucial for conserving sharks and rays
Date:3/7/2013

ppendix I, which prohibits commercial international trade completely.

The proposals under consideration will significantly increase the number of sharks and rays that are regulated under CITES: currently, only a few of shark and ray speciesthe whale shark, basking shark, great white shark, and seven sawfishesare listed. In order to be adopted, the proposals will need approval from two-thirds of the governments voting.

"CITES listings for these species would help put controls on an international trade that threatens many shark species and the livelihoods that depend on them," said Dr. Elizabeth Bennett, Vice President of WCS's Species Program and leader of the WCS CITES delegation.

Unlike many bony fish species, most cartilaginous fishes are long-lived, late-to-mature, and produce few young, making them vulnerable to over-fishing and their populations slow to recover once depleted.

"Demand for shark finsthe prime ingredient in shark fin soup and gill rakers from manta rays is driving legal and illegal shark and ray fishing beyond what is sustainable, with estimates of tens of millions of animals killed annually to supply these trades, "said Dr. Rachel Graham, Director of WCS's Gulf and Caribbean Sharks and Rays Program. "Listing under CITES will provide a much-needed framework to monitor and regulate these heavily traded and highly sought-after species."

WCS is committed to saving sharks and rays as part of a global commitment to promote recovery of depleted and threatened populations of marine species, halt the decline of fragile marine ecosystems, and improve the livelihoods and resilience of coastal communities throughout the world's oceans.

WCS invests in a diverse array of long-term, seascape-scale conservation strategies across the waters of 20 countries and all five oceans to reverse the decline of marine ecosystems, restore populations of threatened marine species and improve coastal fisheries and livelihoods. We inspire millions to ta
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Contact: Stephen Sautner
ssautner@wcs.org
718-220-3682
Wildlife Conservation Society
Source:Eurekalert

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