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.
Last Thursday, 7th March at a reception dedicated to sharks at the Retro Café, Bangkok, Project AWARE welcomed CITES country delegations and turned over more than 135,000 shark petition signatures from scuba divers and shark supporters in more than 228 countries, territories and areas of special interest.
Project AWARE, dive business owners and dive supporters united as the voice of the dive community in Bangkok, Thailand at the sixteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CITES CoP16). On 1 March, before the meeting opened, we made our message loud and clear – healthy shark and ray populations are priceless.
Thailand signals opposition to CITES listings while Senegal proclaims support
Debate is heating up on proposed protections for sharks and rays at a major global trade meeting. Shark conservation experts have united to urge governments to vote in favour of the measures and thereby ensure the survival of the threatened species. Roughly 150 of the 178 governments that are party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) are expected to vote on these proposals over the coming days.
Increased trade protection for polar bears and sharks are on the agenda of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) next week in Bangkok, officials said Thursday.
"We expect proposals on polar bears, sharks and manta rays will go to a vote," convention secretary general John Scanlon said.
The CITES meeting, which is to begin Sunday and run through to March 14, is drawing more than 2,000 delegates from 177 countries.
Twice each year, I make the 36-hour voyage to Cocos Island, 350 miles from the Costa Rican mainland, to tag hammerhead sharks and sea turtles. This journey is well-worth the effort - Jacques Cousteau described Cocos Island as the most beautiful island in the world, and I wholeheartedly agree!
These sharks are on most every diver's bucket list - hammerheads. With their unusual and very distinct shaped head, these incredible sharks are awe-inspiring. To experience hammerheads in the wild is an absolute dream come true for many scuba divers.
Incredible, breathtaking, mesmerizing. There are so many words to describe a manta ray encounter and if you've been lucky enough to dive with one, you'll never forget the experience.
Sadly, both the giant manta and reef manta face an uncertain future. Globally threatened and exceptionally vulnerable, intensified fishing pressure in warm waters around the world is pushing mantas to the brink. Yet, in just a few days time CITES delegates will have the power to change manta's fate.
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.
Less than half of the 280 million metric tons of plastic produced each year ends up in the landfill. A fair bit of the rest ends up littering the landscape, blown by the wind or washed down streams and rivers into the sea.
So far Americans spend $520 million a year to clean up plastic litter washing up on beaches and shorelines. Efforts to clean up the oceans' enormous swirling gyres of garbage has an incalculable cost. Thus, much of the focus has been on how to stop the river of trash from entering the ocean.
In a double bid to clean the waters of Patong and raise awareness for shark protection Scuba Cat Diving is hosting a Dive Against Debris and a Get Swimming to End Shark Finning(Finathon) this Saturday, February 16th 2013 at Paradise Reef, Patong.
The event named “We Belong To The Sea” spotlights scuba divers unique ability to tackle global marine debris and shark finning issues.
The buzz is building. The meeting of the member countries to CITES this 3-14 March is just days away. As we sprint toward the main event, where officials will consider 70 proposals to protect species, including commercially valuable oceanic whitetip sharks, hammerheads, porbeagles sharks, manta rays and freshwater sawfish - we know we’re up for some tough battles ahead.