CITES CoP16: March 14, 2013 ALL SHARK LISTINGS ADOPTED!

Plenary session opened at 09h13. The Chair began the morning session with election of new regional representatives. Dr. Moustafa Fouda is the new representative from Egypt. Next, ratification of decisions of the Parties on proposals continued. Proposals 39, 40 and 41 were adopted.

Proposal 42. Oceanic whitetip shark. Japan asked to re-open debate and requested a secret ballot. Gambia seconded.  Colombia spoke in favor of the proposal, saying the vote taken in Committee I was the will of the Parties and to reopen debate ignored the sovereign decision of the Parties. Senegal also opposed the re-opening debate, and noted that a listing on Appendix II is not a ban on international trade, but ensures sustainability of the species. Japan took the floor again to repeat its request for a secret ballot. Point of order was called by Mexico who stated that CoP Rules of Procedure require that reopening debate merely on an opinion is not allowable. The Chair gave the floor to the Secretariat for a ruling. The Secretariat noted that Japan’s motion received 10 votes: Japan, Guinea, Gambia, Togo, Morocco, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and two other Parties.

Ecuador supported Mexico and Colombia's position, stating that according to  the rules of the Convention, Japan must first clearly state the reasons for reopening the debate, and reminded the Chair that Rule 19 requires a 2/3 vote of the Parties to reopen debate. The Chair ruled that the vote only required 1/3 majority and would be by secret ballot.

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A vote was held and Japan’s motion to reopen debate was rejected: 83 Parties (67.88%) against, 44 in favor (32.12%), and 8 abstentions. The proposal to list the oceanic whitetip on CITES Appendix II was adopted  by the Parties to CITES. Implementation of regulations will be delayed by 18 months.

Delegates from Costa Rica, Paraguay, Panama, Congo, Honduras, Ecuador, Paraguay, Mexico, Peru, the USA, Belize, Comoros, Chile, Argentina and the MemberStates of the European Union and Croatia, in the name of transparency, reported that they voted against reopening debate on Proposal 42 and asked that their vote be put on the record.

Proposal 43: Three species of Hammerheads. Grenada asked to reopen debate on the proposal and asked for a secret ballot. The motion was seconded by China. Grenada said the information on the species was confusing and China said there was a problem with look-alike species. Mexico opposed re-opening debate, noting that info on the species had been available to all delegates for more than 6 months. Honduras also opposed, saying this initiative received global support as well as the support of the Parties. Ten Parties voting for a secret ballot were: Sri Lanka, Japan, Grenada, Guinea, Iceland, China, Philippines, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Namibia and Vietnam (See the pattern?). The vote to reopen received 40 votes (29.41%), opposed were 96 (70.59%) with 6 abstentions. The decision to list the 3 species of hammerhead sharks on CITES Appendix II was adopted. Implementation of regulations will be delayed by 18 months.

The USA, Paraguay, El Salvador, Senegal, Panama, Honduras, Mexico, Seychelles, Comoros, Colombia, Costa Rica, Jamaica,  Guatemala, Swaziland, Congo, Belize, Central African Republic, Gabon, Ecuador, the 27 member states of the European Union and Croatia, said, in the name of transparency, that their votes against reopening debate  be put on the record.

Proposal 44:Porbeagle shark. The proposal to list the porbeagle shark on CITES Appendix II was adopted by CITES. Implementation of regulations will be delayed by 18 months. China took the floor, saying they would be unable to distinguish materials of the listed species in trade, and implementation of enforcement measures will be difficult.

Proposal 45: Freshwater Sawfish. The recommendation of Committee I was adopted.

Proposal 46: Manta rays. The recommendation of Committee I was adopted.

This has not been a good day for Japan and its cohorts.  The Parties are making decisions based on science.