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Governments Set to Tackle International Shark Trade

Seven species of vulnerable sharks and manta rays have now been submitted by 35 countries for consideration for protection next year under an international treaty concerned with regulating wildlife trade.

Governments met the deadline today and formally submitted their proposals for the meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in March 2013. The recommendations include porbeagle and oceanic whitetip sharks, three species of hammerhead sharks, and two types of manta rays. For nearly 40 years, CITES has shielded thousands of plants and animals from overexploitation through international trade, and the treaty is widely considered one of the best-enforced international conservation agreements.

“We congratulate the governments of Brazil, Comoros, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Ecuador, Egypt, the member States of the European Union, and Honduras for their leadership and commitment to shark conservation, and urge the global community to join their call to finally provide critical international trade protection for these vulnerable shark species,” said Susan Lieberman, director of international policy for the Pew Environment Group.

The 176 members of CITES will analyze these proposals before a final vote in Bangkok in March 2013.

“Countries cannot continue to watch as these sharks and rays are driven to the brink of extinction; measures need to be put in place now to regulate international trade in these species,” said Elizabeth Wilson, manager of shark conservation at the Pew Environment Group. “This is not just about sharks; it’s about keeping the world’s oceans healthy. CITES has the chance in Bangkok to help save these species.”

Shark Defenders (sharkdefenders) on Pinterest

Check out Shark Defenders’ page on Pinterest. It’s a great tool for sharing cool photos and interesting articles we find!

Identifying Shark Fins: SHARK FINS

About a year ago, Pew put together a guide for how to identify sharks’ dorsal fins. If you haven’t seen it, give it a look; it’s pretty cool, and it will be a great tool for enforcement in the field.

How World Leaders are Saving Sharks

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the new guide by the Pew Environment Group, “How World Leaders are Protecting Sharks”. The report highlights new laws and initiatives that help protect global shark populations around the world, including shark sanctuaries, shark fin trade bans, and regional agreements. Since 2009 when Palau, followed shortly afterwards by the Maldives, Honduras, The Bahamas, Tokelau, and the Marshall Islands all proclaimed shark sanctuaries in their waters, more and more world leaders are considering the benefits of shark protections. To support the work of countries currently working towards or considering shark protections, the Pew Environment Group assembled these materials to guide their decision-making process.

Some of the highlights include:

  • Examples of how Palau, the MaldivesHondurasTokelau, The Bahamas and the Marshall Islands have banned shark fishing in their Exclusive Economic Zones.
  • Examples of written decrees and legislative language used to help create a national sanctuary.
  • Actual language from international and regional shark protection agreements and shark trade bans around the world.

Every Week is Shark Week

Pew’s megapage on shark conservation and what has been done globally to save sharks.

Venezuela Ends Shark Finning, Creates Protected Area

Yesterday, Venezuela official created measures that protect sharks within its waters. Part of its coastline, the Los Roques Archipelago, is now closed to shark fishing.

The new regulation also prohibits the practice of shark finning (cutting off the fins and dumping the body overboard at sea) and mandates that all of these animals caught in Venezuelan waters must be brought to port with their fins naturally attached.

By protecting sharks that live in its waters, Venezuela looks to conserve several key species. Certain species, such as hammerheads and whale sharks, are endangered, threatened, or near threatened by extinction, according to assessments done by the IUCN Red List. Additionally, many species such as lemon sharks maintain nursery areas and breeding grounds.

Most significantly, though, this officially ends shark finning in all waters in the Americas. Obviously, this is a key accomplishment. Congratulations on this major victory, Venezuela!

Honduran Authorities Burn Confiscated Shark Fins

This is fantastic. On the first anniversary of the creation of Honduras’s shark sanctuary, Honduran president Porfirio Lobo Sosa and many law enforcement officials burned hundreds of fins that had been confiscated by the Honduran navy. Click the link for video, pictures, and more information.

Recipes for Success

Many of you are probably like me, in that you love to cook, and that you try to be sustainable with what you eat. (Well, maybe you’re not… but if you try to follow this, way to go!)

Me:

  • Locavore? Have a farm share? Check.
  • Cook a lot? Check.
  • Only eat sustainably-caught seafood? Check.
  • Vegetarian? Okay, I’m definitely not a vegetarian. But, the thought is there, and - MOM, I HOPE YOU READ THIS - I eat a lot of veggies with lunch and dinner. Sometimes I eat them after dessert, though.

I know a lot of you out there may not know what types of seafood ARE okay to eat, or you might be frustrated by having to make a choice between eating sustainable seafood and unsustainable seafood. It’s understandable - I mean, hello, we conservationists love sushi, too! We’re not saying “Don’t eat seafood,” but rather, “If you order, say, tilapia instead of tuna, you’re making a difference, and still having a tasty dinner.” And, as someone who didn’t think that it made a difference what she ate, and then realized that she needed to be informed about her food, I know it’s a life-changing way of life.

It gets… better?

Well, actually, it does - and it becomes a lot easier to make informed decisions about the types of fish you eat. And, look at it this way: By doing your part now, you’re helping to ensure that your favorite fish doesn’t go extinct. (Because really? Is immediate gratification that worth it?)

Thanks to federal efforts to curb overfishing through the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, we’re starting to see how science-based management plans work. To celebrate, the Pew Environment Group put together a collection of tasty-sounding recipes from famous chefs using these fish. I hope you try them out! I’m looking forward to it.

Governments Set to Tackle International Shark Trade

Seven species of vulnerable sharks and manta rays have now been submitted by 35 countries for consideration for protection next year under an international treaty concerned with regulating wildlife trade.

Governments met the deadline today and formally submitted their proposals for the meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in March 2013. The recommendations include porbeagle and oceanic whitetip sharks, three species of hammerhead sharks, and two types of manta rays. For nearly 40 years, CITES has shielded thousands of plants and animals from overexploitation through international trade, and the treaty is widely considered one of the best-enforced international conservation agreements.

“We congratulate the governments of Brazil, Comoros, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Ecuador, Egypt, the member States of the European Union, and Honduras for their leadership and commitment to shark conservation, and urge the global community to join their call to finally provide critical international trade protection for these vulnerable shark species,” said Susan Lieberman, director of international policy for the Pew Environment Group.

The 176 members of CITES will analyze these proposals before a final vote in Bangkok in March 2013.

“Countries cannot continue to watch as these sharks and rays are driven to the brink of extinction; measures need to be put in place now to regulate international trade in these species,” said Elizabeth Wilson, manager of shark conservation at the Pew Environment Group. “This is not just about sharks; it’s about keeping the world’s oceans healthy. CITES has the chance in Bangkok to help save these species.”

Shark Defenders (sharkdefenders) on Pinterest

Check out Shark Defenders’ page on Pinterest. It’s a great tool for sharing cool photos and interesting articles we find!

Identifying Shark Fins: SHARK FINS

About a year ago, Pew put together a guide for how to identify sharks’ dorsal fins. If you haven’t seen it, give it a look; it’s pretty cool, and it will be a great tool for enforcement in the field.

How World Leaders are Saving Sharks

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the new guide by the Pew Environment Group, “How World Leaders are Protecting Sharks”. The report highlights new laws and initiatives that help protect global shark populations around the world, including shark sanctuaries, shark fin trade bans, and regional agreements. Since 2009 when Palau, followed shortly afterwards by the Maldives, Honduras, The Bahamas, Tokelau, and the Marshall Islands all proclaimed shark sanctuaries in their waters, more and more world leaders are considering the benefits of shark protections. To support the work of countries currently working towards or considering shark protections, the Pew Environment Group assembled these materials to guide their decision-making process.

Some of the highlights include:

  • Examples of how Palau, the MaldivesHondurasTokelau, The Bahamas and the Marshall Islands have banned shark fishing in their Exclusive Economic Zones.
  • Examples of written decrees and legislative language used to help create a national sanctuary.
  • Actual language from international and regional shark protection agreements and shark trade bans around the world.

Every Week is Shark Week

Pew’s megapage on shark conservation and what has been done globally to save sharks.

Waiter! There’s an endangered species in my soup.

Venezuela Ends Shark Finning, Creates Protected Area

Yesterday, Venezuela official created measures that protect sharks within its waters. Part of its coastline, the Los Roques Archipelago, is now closed to shark fishing.

The new regulation also prohibits the practice of shark finning (cutting off the fins and dumping the body overboard at sea) and mandates that all of these animals caught in Venezuelan waters must be brought to port with their fins naturally attached.

By protecting sharks that live in its waters, Venezuela looks to conserve several key species. Certain species, such as hammerheads and whale sharks, are endangered, threatened, or near threatened by extinction, according to assessments done by the IUCN Red List. Additionally, many species such as lemon sharks maintain nursery areas and breeding grounds.

Most significantly, though, this officially ends shark finning in all waters in the Americas. Obviously, this is a key accomplishment. Congratulations on this major victory, Venezuela!

Honduran Authorities Burn Confiscated Shark Fins

This is fantastic. On the first anniversary of the creation of Honduras’s shark sanctuary, Honduran president Porfirio Lobo Sosa and many law enforcement officials burned hundreds of fins that had been confiscated by the Honduran navy. Click the link for video, pictures, and more information.

Recipes for Success

Many of you are probably like me, in that you love to cook, and that you try to be sustainable with what you eat. (Well, maybe you’re not… but if you try to follow this, way to go!)

Me:

  • Locavore? Have a farm share? Check.
  • Cook a lot? Check.
  • Only eat sustainably-caught seafood? Check.
  • Vegetarian? Okay, I’m definitely not a vegetarian. But, the thought is there, and - MOM, I HOPE YOU READ THIS - I eat a lot of veggies with lunch and dinner. Sometimes I eat them after dessert, though.

I know a lot of you out there may not know what types of seafood ARE okay to eat, or you might be frustrated by having to make a choice between eating sustainable seafood and unsustainable seafood. It’s understandable - I mean, hello, we conservationists love sushi, too! We’re not saying “Don’t eat seafood,” but rather, “If you order, say, tilapia instead of tuna, you’re making a difference, and still having a tasty dinner.” And, as someone who didn’t think that it made a difference what she ate, and then realized that she needed to be informed about her food, I know it’s a life-changing way of life.

It gets… better?

Well, actually, it does - and it becomes a lot easier to make informed decisions about the types of fish you eat. And, look at it this way: By doing your part now, you’re helping to ensure that your favorite fish doesn’t go extinct. (Because really? Is immediate gratification that worth it?)

Thanks to federal efforts to curb overfishing through the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, we’re starting to see how science-based management plans work. To celebrate, the Pew Environment Group put together a collection of tasty-sounding recipes from famous chefs using these fish. I hope you try them out! I’m looking forward to it.

"Waiter! There’s an endangered species in my soup."

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Shark Defenders is dedicated to creating shark sanctuaries and supporting the proper management of shark and ray species worldwide.

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