Monday, 11 March 2013

Success At CITES

Going against my initial fears and belief that CITES will always be a largely impotent body in the fight to save sharks and other precious marine wildlife, last night saw Appendix II listing for Smooth, Scalloped and Great Hammerhead Sharks, Oceanic Whitetip and Porbeagle Sharks along with Manta Rays!

It's as surprising to me as it is brilliant and enormous waves of gratitude and unending respect must go to those people at the forefront of the campaign to get this as far as they have, it's an incredible achievement, maybe even a watershed moment, for sharks.

But...There's always a but...This could still be overturned when the assembled nations reconvene for the Plenary hearing on Thursday. This gives delegates from China, Japan and Singapore, three full days to continue spreading their bullshit and lies amongst the developing third world countries to encourage them to change their voting to allow them to keep exploiting the people and marine life within these nations. It ain't quite a done deal yet...

This is also regulation, it's not a ban, so people can still harvest these animals, it just means the trade will be regulated using scientific guidelines to assess the sustainability of a fishery in which these animals are regularly caught.

It's a good start but there is still much to be done.

In the meantime, watch this by Shawn Heinrichs who did an amazing job on a challenging project. Mantas really are beautiful animals and huge kudos to Hannah who did a great job in what were by all accounts, very challenging conditions!

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