Trade in threatened shark species banned

International conference agrees to ban types of sharks whose numbers have plummeted in part due to high demand for fins.

    Trade in threatened shark species banned
    Three types of hammerhead sharks were banned by the CITES conference in the Thai capital, Bangkok [AFP]

    An international conference has voted to ban trade in some shark species whose populations have fallen to crisis levels due in part to demand from China, the world's biggest consumer of shark fins for use in soup. 

    The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) agreed on Monday to ban trade in the oceanic whitetip, the porbeagle and three types of hammerhead sharks, unless shipments are accompanied by documentation showing they were caught legally.

    About seven percent of sharks are killed each year, according to a paper in the Marine Policy journal this year, an unsustainable amount that is threatening certain populations with extinction.

    Governments will have 18 months to comply with the restrictions, agreed by a two-thirds majority of the countries
    at the CITES conference in Bangkok, Thailand.

    If countries are found to be non-compliant, they may be subject to sanctions that can cover trade in all CITES-listed
    species.

    Japan and China, major consumers of shark products, opposed the listing, citing difficulties in identifying the specific
    species' fins. 

    They also said regional fisheries management bodies should manage marine issues, rather than CITES, but most countries, including the original proponents in Latin America and the European Union, and environmental NGOs rejected that view.

    "In reality we need fisheries management bodies managing the fishing and CITES managing the trade," said Elizabeth Wilson, manager for global shark conservation at The Pew Charitable Trusts, an NGO.

    The vote will require final approval at a CITES plenary on March 14, the final day of the meeting, which is likely given the large majority in favour. 

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Venezuela in default: What next?

    Venezuela in default: What next?

    As the oil-rich country fails to pay its debt, we examine what happens next and what it means for its people.

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The number of Muslims in South Korea is estimated to be around 100,000, including foreigners.

    What is Mohammed bin Salman's next move?

    What is Mohammed bin Salman's next move?

    There are reports Saudi Arabia is demanding money from the senior officials it recently arrested.