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18 endangered sharks and rays afforded protection

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    3rd Sep, 2019

Eighteen species of sharks and rays, threatened by the scale of international trade in their fins and meat, were included in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Context

Eighteen species of sharks and rays, threatened by the scale of international trade in their fins and meat, were included in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

About

  • The decision to include the species in Appendix II was taken at the ongoing 18th Conference of the Parties (CoP18) of CITES in Geneva.
  • The species included in the list are endangered shortfin and longfin mako shark, six species of giant guitarfish and 10 species of wedgefish.
  • Of the giant guitarfish and wedgefish species on the listing, all except one of the wedgefish species are critically endangered.
  • Warm-blooded makos are the fastest sharks in the sea and travel at speeds which most speedboats cannot compete with.
  • Giant guitarfishes (named for their guitar-like shape), and wedgefishes are flat-bodied shark-like rays, adapted for living close to the seabed.
  • More than half of sharks and their relatives are recognized as being threatened or near threatened with extinction and at least 100 million sharks are killed annually in commercial fisheries.
  • An Appendix II listing is an important step, limiting trade to sustainable levels.

About the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

  • The International Fund for Animal Welfare is a global non-profit helping animals and people thrive together.
  • Experts and everyday people, working across seas, oceans and in more than 40 countries around the world.
  • Rescue, rehabilitate and release animals, and we restore and protect their natural habitats.
  • Partner with local communities, governments, non-governmental organizations and businesses.
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