JEJU, REPUBLIC OF KOREA (September 4, 2012)The Wildlife Conservation Society and over 35 government agency and NGO partners participating in IUCN's World Conservation Congress this week are urging the world's governments to take urgent steps to save the world's sharks and rays from the relentless pressure of over-fishing for international trade.
WCS and others are specifically calling on the world's governments and the IUCN membership of NGOs, governments, and government agencies to advocate for the listing of sharks and rays under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the 175-member treaty that regulates international trade in animal and plant species.
"Sharks and rays have traveled the Earth for more than 400 million years," said Dr. Cristin Samper, President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society and keynote speaker at the Jeju congress. "Yet, in only recent decades, many of these species have become threatened from overfishing and, in some instances, have disappeared entirely from major portions of their range. The potential loss of one of only two groups of the world's living fishes is a crisis the world community must take decisive action to address. We are calling for governments around the world to vigorously support CITES international trade regulations and strengthen fisheries management and protection measures for shark and ray species. We cannot continue to allow the destruction of these wonders of evolution."
The upcoming efforts by WCS and partners could triple the number of sharks and rays that are afforded protection under CITES. Currently, only a handful of shark and ray speciesthe whale shark, basking shark, great white shark, and sawfishesare listed. Yet, numerous other species are considered to qualify for CITES listing, including several that have been proposed to CITES before.
Priority species for CITES listing in March 2013 are:
|Contact: Stephen Sautner|
Wildlife Conservation Society