Sunday, 16 November 2014

International protection increased for 31 species

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International protection increased for 31 species
The so called ‘Shark COP’ – or the 11th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) (COP11) – concluded yesterday in Quito, Ecuador. The result is that 31 species have been given greater international protection including 21 species of sharks and rays.
The conference was the largest ever for the Convention with over 900 delegates attending the 6 day conference. Government officials, NGO’s, academics and media people swarmed around the conference location as species were subject to intense scrutiny before being placed on either Appendix I or Appendix II of the convention.
The conference was termed the Shark COP because of the number of species of sharks and rays being proposed for international protection. 21 on the proposed species succeeded in gaining extra protection. These included:
  • Thresher sharks,
  • Silky sharks
  • Hammerhead sharks,
  • Reef manta rays
  • Mobula rays
  • Sawfish
With over 100 million sharks being killed each year there is real concern over the survival of some species. Being listed in Appendix I means that the 120 countries signed up to the agreement have to put in place legislation to prevent any take of the fish. For species that have been put into Appendix II there is a requirement for cross-border conservation agreements and actions to help the species to recover.

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