Over 10,000 citizens from around the world support protection of hammerhead sharks in CITES.

Latin American united against Asia

(March 7, 2013 – San José, Costa Rica)

Over 10,000 citizens from 118 countries signed a petition calling on the delegates participating in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), currently meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, to provide protection of hammerhead sharks from international trade by listing the species under Appenix II of the Convention. Click here to see the list.

tillomarThe proposal was submitted by Costa Rica, Honduras and Brazil, and currently enjoys the support of Central America, most of South America, the United States and the European Union. At this moment, Latin American delegates are working hard to gain the support of African nations. The Latin American region also seeks the listing in Appendix II of porbeagle sharks, oceanic whitetip sharks and manta rays.

Currently, over 100 million sharks are globally sacrificed every year to supply the demand of shark fins in Asia. The lack of controls has led to the dramatic depletion of shark populations. Hammerhead sharks are particularly sought due to the high quality of its fins, and declines in its population have been reported in the range of 90% or more. The listing of the species in Appendix II would not ban the commercial activity, but rather ensure that the products of this species come from legal and controlled fisheries that do not compromise its survival.

Japan leads a block of Asian nations that seeks to avoid such controls, and through the secret vote mechanism hopes to derail the initiative and maintain this unsustainable extraction volume.

Hammerhead sharks migrate throughout the oceanic islands of the Eastern Tropical Pacific, where a large presence occurs of national and foreign vessels that carry out the unsustainable extraction of this species,” informed Randall Arauz, advisor to the Costa Rican delegation on marine species. “CITES promotes regional and international cooperation, ensuring the perpetuity of this species, which annually generates millions of US$ through non lethal activities such as ecotourism and diving.”

The hammerhead shark vote is expected to take place on Friday March 8th, but could be delayed until Monday the 11th.

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    Over 10,000 citizens from around the world support protection of hammerhead sharks in CITES. Latin American united against Asia (March 7, 2013 – San José, Costa Rica) Over 10,000 citizens from 118 countries signed a petition calling on the delegates participating in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of...