Conservationists look to final plenary to cement positive yet tentative decisions
Bangkok, 11 March 2013. In a highly anticipated Committee vote today, proposals to list under CITES* five species of sharks were supported by more than the two-thirds majority of voting countries needed for adoption. Conservationists are pleased yet mindful that decisions must still be confirmed in the final plenary session later this week.
Overfishing threatens the magnificent and prized ‘Ali Maduwa’, writes Malaka Rodrigo.
A giant “maduwa”, or manta ray, was netted last week by fisherman in Welipatanwila, Ambalanthota, on the South coast. The ocean creature was pregnant and weighed 1,500 kilograms. A week earlier, another manta ray was caught by fishermen in Akkaraipattu, on the East coast. Both sea creatures have been identified as Giant Oceanic Manta Rays, the largest member of the ray family.
Some sharks spend extended time periods in the protected waters of the Bahamas yet roam long distances when they leave
As the nations of the world prepare to vote on measures to restrict international trade in endangered sharks in early March, a team of researchers has found that one of these species – the oceanic whitetip shark – regularly crosses international boundaries. Efforts by individual nations to protect this declining apex predator within their own maritime borders may therefore need to be nested within broader international conservation measures.
The United States said Friday it would support proposals to curb the trade of five shark species and manta rays, whose numbers are declining because of demand for fins and gills.
"For several decades, we have been increasingly concerned about the over harvest of sharks and manta rays," US Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe said in a meeting at the United Nations, according to a statement.
Lee Newman is the Curator of Tropical Waters at Vancouver Aquarium as well as one of British Columbia's most active divers and underwater photographers.
Lee will discuss important Shark Conservation Conservation issues that effect divers both on local and international scale. Lee will also overview a variety of shark species including those found in British Columbia.
The UAE should introduce tough new measures to protect threatened shark species, according to one of the organisers of a conservation conference taking place this week.
The Emirates took action in 2008 by banning the finning of live sharks at sea and outlawing shark fishing from January 1 to April 30 each year.
But Jonathan Ali Khan, a shark expert and wildlife filmmaker, said the UAE should take its policies one step further and ban imports and exports of shark fins and imports of whole sharks. He would also like to see the no-fishing period extended.
Sharks have a direct lineage to the Jurassic era, predating the dinosaurs. Despite existing for millions of years, it is questionable whether all of their types will see out the next 100. Global landings of sharks in the early 1950s were around 200,000 tons per year. By 2011 it was estimated that up to 73 million sharks were being captured by year.
Time to celebrate! As the IUCN World Conservation Congress ended last week, the global conservation community voted in favor of critical shark conservation measures for threatened shark species including species-specific steps needed to protect mako and hammerhead sharks.