Victory! Hammerhead sharks included in Appendix II of CITES
(March 11, 2013 – Bangkok, Thailand)
In a very close vote, the plenary of CITES approved by a 2/3 majority the inclusion of hammerhead sharks in Appendix II. The proposal was submitted by Costa Rica, Honduras and Brazil, and has obtained the support of Central America, most of the South American countries, the European Union, the United States, and blocks of African nations.
Due to the lack of a technical justification, some countries claimed the measure could not be implemented, or that it could affect artisanal fisheries of developing nations. However, Brazil expressed that it would provide technical and financial training for implementation. Furthermore, a CITES Appendix II listing will only affect international trade, while artisanal fishers catch juveniles for domestic consumption.
“This measure will finally control the irrational and unsustainable catch of hammerhead sharks to meet the demand of shark fins in international markets,” said Randall Arauz, marine species advisor to the Costa Rican delegation. “Far from being detrimental to artisanal fisheries, the measure will be beneficial to them, as it will guarantee the protection of adults, allowing them to reproduce into perpetuity.
“The hammerhead shark is of extreme importance to Costa Rica, not only due to its importance in domestic fisheries, but also due to its importance for the dive industry, where their observation generates yearly revenues of millions of US$,” expressed José Joaquín Calvo, Chief of the Costa Rican delegation. “We will continue with these regional and global processes, to guarantee the sustainable use of hammerhead sharks and other highly migratory species for the future generations.”
Votes in favor: 91
Votes against: 39
NOTE: Stil existe the possibility that China or Japan will overturn the vote when the convention returns to plenary.