CITES CoP 2013

22 Feb 2013

Oceanic Whitetip Shark © Morten Bjorn Larsen.

BANGKOK// The Shark Trust will be attending the 16th Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Conference of the Parties (CoP), which will take place from the 3-14 March 2013 in Thailand.

The Shark Trust is part of the ‘CITES7’ coalition, which is made up of shark experts from key regions, conservation organisations with global reach, and experienced campaign consultants. The coalition is advocating for listing, or up-listing, of additional shark and ray species on the CITES Appendices.

The Shark Trust congratulates the UK Government for publicly stating their support for these proposals. Today they announced:

'The UK will continue to support and push for suitable conservation and management measures (based on scientific advice), at a European and international levels, for better control of the exploitation of sharks, and the trade in shark products’.

Since the spring of 2012, the coalition has set out to:

  • Ensure CITES Appendix II listings for Porbeagle, Oceanic Whitetip and Smooth, Scalloped and Great Hammerhead Sharks.
  • Promote up-listing of freshwater sawfish from Appendix II to Appendix I.
  • Explore opportunities for securing similar listings for manta and/or devil rays.

Factsheets for these species can be downloaded below:

Hammerhead Sharks Factsheet. Manta Ray Factsheet. Oceanic Whitetip Shark Factsheet. Porbeagle Shark Factsheet. Sawfish Factsheet.
Hammerhead Sharks Factsheet (pdf) Manta Ray Factsheet (pdf) Oceanic Whitetip Shark Factsheet (pdf) Porbeagle Shark Factsheet (pdf) Sawfish Factsheet (pdf)

Sharks and rays are at great risk today, primarily due to over-exploitation through targeted and incidental take in fisheries, which is often unregulated and driven by international trade. Shark fins are among the world’s most valuable fishery products, while shark and ray meat is prized throughout Europe and Asia and the gill rakers of manta rays are increasingly sought for Chinese medicine. Through various requirements for export and import, CITES Appendix II can help to ensure that international trade is held to sustainable levels and thereby complement fisheries management.

CITES is an international agreement between governments, which aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. Because the trade in wild animals and plants crosses borders between countries, the effort to regulate this trade requires international co-operation to safeguard certain species from over-exploitation.

Related Links:

➤ Find out more about CITES.

➤ Find out more about CITES 2013.

CITES7 Coalition Logos.