Another 50 shark species are protected from trade
Heavily reinforced protection for the sharks, as well as turtles, lizards and frogs. But the nob is taking action against the trade in hippos. These are some of the results of global negotiations on trade in endangered species.
The clubbing of the proposal on, among other things, sharks is seen as perhaps the biggest result at this year’s deliberations on CITES, global rules for trade in endangered species. The measures will protect an additional 54 shark species – something that is expected to drastically reduce the lucrative trade in shark fins.
Trade in sharks in the gray shark and hammerhead shark families will now be tightly controlled. Shirley Binder, a delegate from Panama, told the AFP news agency that the “historic decision” means that up to 90 percent of the sharks traded will now be protected.
Shark populations worldwide are declining, partly due to hunting, which has taken 100 million individuals annually. The fins of the fish are highly sought after for shark fin soup in Asia.
Sharks – long seen as fearsome villains of the sea – have undergone a “makeover” in recent years as their importance in regulating the ocean’s ecosystem has been recognised. Most sharks are harmless to humans, and there are species quite unknown to the general public even in the Baltic Sea.
Some controversial proposals were simultaneously rejected at the meeting. Some African countries had hoped for an end to the trade in rhinos, but that did not happen. Among other things, the EU says no, and argues that it is not trade that is behind the shrinking of rhino stocks.
The five-day Cites meeting in Panama was attended by delegates from over 180 countries and the EU.