From: Murray W. Camp, MASNA ILOC Director
Although still subject to a formal votes, it looks like the governmental representative delegates to the 16th meeting of the CITES Conference of the Parties have agreed to restrict cross-border trade in the oceanic whitetip, the porbeagle, three types of hammerheads and the manta ray, including requiring any shipment to have stricter documentation regarding how they were harvested. If countries are found to be non-compliant, they may be subject to sanctions that can cover trade in all CITES-listed species. Japan and China, major consumers of shark products, opposed the listing, citing difficulties in identifying the specific species’ fins.
They also said regional fisheries management bodies should manage marine issues, rather than CITES, but most countries, including the original proponents in Latin America and the European Union, and environmental NGOs rejected that view. ”In reality we need fisheries management bodies managing the fishing and CITES managing the trade,” said Elizabeth Wilson, manager for global shark conservation at The Pew Charitable Trusts, an NGO.
The vote will require final approval at a CITES plenary on March 14, the final day of the meeting, which is likely given the large majority in favor.