CITES CoP18 update

Sharks & Rays

© Steve De Neef

© Steve De Neef

Much about sharks and rays at the first day of Committee I (animals), including the report from the Secretariat and discussion of a proposed amendment that would appear to strengthen shark and ray protections.

A number of Parties (countries) expressed opinions on both sides of the amendment. As a result, the Secretariat will convene a Working Group to discuss the matter further, and SRI will be one of the NGOs present as part of that Working Group.

The day concluded with a compelling presentation by the Parties from Sri Lanka and Fiji voicing their strong support for Proposal 42, mako sharks (long and shortfin), Proposal 43, guitarfish (blackchin, sharpnose and giant) and Proposal 44, wedgefish (family of).

The presentation included a compelling short form documentary about mako sharks and the story of shark fisherman turned eco-tourism guides and shark advocates, and ended with an impassioned speech by Party delegate Arthur Sokimi from Fiji who gathered all the Parties from their part of the world and spoke about the critical importance of sharks to their communities, livelihoods and soul of their cultures.