Hundreds call on Costa Rica’s Environment Minister to protect silky sharks
(October 16, 2014 – San José, Costa Rica)
The Costa Rican organization PRETOMA delivered 574 signatures (http://www.pretoma.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Firmas-web-petición-silky.pdf) urging Costa Rica´s Environment Minister Edgar Gutierrez Espeleta, to vote for the listing of silky sharks (Carcharhinus falciformis) under Appendix II of the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), to better manage and conserve global populations of this species. The outpouring of support came from Costa Rican citizens and the international community through grassroots activities and an online petition.
Furthermore, the Costa Rican Members Committee of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) (http://www.pretoma.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Petición-membretada-UICN-al-Ministro.pdf) and the Costa Rican organization Marviva (http://www.pretoma.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/MarViva-Sedoso-Final-2.pdf) supported the call. The proposal to list silky sharks under Appendix II is sponsored by Egypt, and will be voted on during the 11th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11) of CMS in Quito, Ecuador, next November 4-9. If accepted the Convention would require member states to develop conservation instruments that address the species’ declining population trends.
“The CMS meeting is less than three weeks away and we still have no official word regarding Costa Rica’s position on silky sharks”, said a concerned Andy Bystrom, consultant with PRETOMA. Bystrom continued by saying that, “while we wait for Costa Rica’s official position to be made public, we would like to thank all the people and organizations who wrote letters and signed the petition showing their support”.
The silky shark’s population throughout the Eastern Pacific and in Costa Rican national waters has declined an estimated 80% over the last few decades. Silky shark biology makes the species susceptible to overfishing and other human related development impacts, making the implementation of new management strategies crucial to the species’ survival.
“Silky sharks are already protected in the Atlantic Ocean, as well as in the Western and Central Pacific Oceans, but in the Eastern Pacific, Costa Rica’s region, the catch and trade of silky sharks continues unabated”, lamented Randall Arauz of PRETOMA. “We applaud Costa Rica’s commitment to champion global process to protect hammerhead sharks, but clearly, silky sharks need protection too”.
For more information:
PRETOMA. firstname.lastname@example.org. 2241 5227
Randall Arauz, 8344 3711
Andy Bystrom, 8764 4839