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  • New Study Reveals Alarming Declines in Pacific Shark Populations
    discarding the carcass at sea as currently implemented are doing little to reduce the number of sharks killed in international longline fisheries likely due to a combination of poor enforcement and increasing markets for shark meat Finning bans for international Pacific waters include a complicated fin to carcass weight ratio for enforcement and depend on follow up domestic actions which to date have been lacking The oceanic whitetip is the only shark species currently subject to international Pacific catch limits These findings underscore conservationists messages that most finning bans are not properly enforced and alone are not sufficient to reverse shark population declines said Sonja Fordham President of Shark Advocates International Prohibitions on at sea removal of shark fins not only bolster finning ban enforcement but also facilitate collection of species specific shark fisheries data that are key to refining population assessments and informing the establishment of urgently needed shark catch limits In a 2006 landmark study Dr Clarke revealed the main species in the Hong Kong shark fin trade including blues makos and oceanic whitetips and estimated the associated global mortality at 26 73 million sharks per year Notes to Editors Shelley Clarke was the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission s shark scientist in 2010 2011 and now advises governmental and non governmental organizations across the Pacific on shark management Dr Clarke has authored several groundbreaking papers on the shark fin trade including the only study to date to penetrate the Hong Kong shark fin auctions Shark fins are among the world s most valuable fishery products and are used as the principal ingredient in a traditional celebratory Chinese soup Dr Clarke and Ms Fordham were co authors of a 2007 European study that recommended banning fishermen from removing shark fins at sea thereby requiring that sharks be

    Original URL path: http://www.sharkadvocates.org/new_study_reveals_decline_in_pacific_sharks.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Australia joins effort for international shark and ray trade measures
    for Conservation of Nature IUCN Sawfish face myriad threats trade in their valuable fins for shark fin soup and their long toothed snouts for curios has contributed to declines The strongest protections at all levels are needed to ensure the survival of sawfishes Alexia Wellbelove Senior Program Manager for Humane Society International We urge all CITES Parties to support Australia s freshwater sawfish proposal to strengthen existing international safeguards for all sawfish species and offer new hope for bringing these remarkable animals back from the brink of extinction Brazil Costa Rica Mexico Ecuador Honduras Croatia and the 27 Member States of the European Union have proposed CITES Appendix II listing for scalloped great and smooth hammerhead sharks Colombia The U S and Brazil have joined Colombia s effort to also list the oceanic whitetip shark All four of these shark species can be found off Australia The global trade in shark fins for soup is a major factor in the worldwide decline of most shark species particularly hammerheads and oceanic whitetips said Sonja Fordham President of Shark Advocates International Support from Australia will be key to the success of the shark proposals at the CITES meeting and in turn to a brighter future for several globally threatened species Notes to Editors Project AWARE Foundation is a global movement of scuba divers protecting our ocean planet one dive at a time Focused on the critical issues of Sharks in Peril and Marine Debris Project AWARE empowers thousands of divers in more than 180 countries to work together for a clean healthy and abundant ocean planet Project AWARE Foundation is a registered non profit organization with offices in Australia United Kingdom and the United States Shark Advocates International SAI is a project of The Ocean Foundation formed to advance sound conservation policies

    Original URL path: http://www.sharkadvocates.org/australia_joins_international_shark_effort.html (2016-02-18)
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  • U.S. and Mexico among 37 countries pursuing shark and ray trade measures
    to fisheries management CITES Parties will debate and vote on listing proposals in March 2013 in Bangkok International trade is a major driver for shark fisheries around the world and yet controls on this exploitation are woefully insufficient said Sonja Fordham President of Shark Advocates We are grateful for continued U S leadership in addressing international shark trade and welcome this unprecedented number of proposals to safeguard these vulnerable species under CITES Hammerhead fins are valuable for use in a traditional celebratory Chinese soup Scalloped great and smooth hammerheads have been proposed for CITES listing Scalloped and great hammerheads are classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN as globally Endangered Proponents joining Mexico include Brazil Costa Rica Croatia Ecuador Honduras and the 27 Member States of the EU Hammerhead sharks are among the most threatened of the wide ranging sharks due largely to the high demand for their fins said Rebecca Regnery Deputy Director for Wildlife at Humane Society International We are particularly pleased that Mexico an influential shark fishing nation has joined the effort to conserve hammerheads through CITES with this strong proposal The oceanic whitetip shark porbeagle both manta rays and the smooth hammerhead are listed by IUCN as globally Vulnerable The freshwater stingrays are considered Data Deficient Porbeagles are prized for meat as well as fins Manta rays are increasingly targeted for their gill rakers which are used in Chinese medicine Freshwater stingrays are traded for display in aquariums The porbeagle proposal comes from the EU and is cosponsored by Brazil Comoros and Egypt Ecuador has put forth the mantas while Colombia has proposed the freshwater stingrays Notes to Editors Shark Advocates International SAI is a project of The Ocean Foundation formed to advance sound conservation policies for sharks and rays Humane Society International

    Original URL path: http://www.sharkadvocates.org/us_mexico_pursuing_shark_trade_measures.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Dozens of Nations Agree Global Shark Conservation Plan | Shark Advocates International
    critical habitats and key life stages of sharks reach out to stakeholders and raise awareness of the sharks status and needs and cooperate toward shark conservation through international fisheries and wildlife bodies We are pleased by the widespread support expressed this week for strengthening shark finning bans and the specific text that encourages requirements for landing sharks with fins still naturally attached said Ania Budziak Associate Director of Science and Policy at Project AWARE Foundation We note that the European Union is close to adopting this best practice for finning ban enforcement and we are hopeful that the CMS endorsement will encourage Members of European Parliament to complete this critical task On the final day of the meeting the CMS Parties agreed to accept the Humane Society International and Humane Society Australia as the first non governmental organizations to participate in the Shark MoU as official Signatories The Humane Society is extremely proud to be the first non governmental signatory to the landmark CMS Shark MoU and is eager to help promote our shared goals said Rebecca Regnery Humane Society International To start our organization and its partners outlined for governments several upcoming key opportunities to implement the CMS shark conservation plan and the importance of realizing them promptly Humane Society International Shark Advocates International and Project AWARE collaborate with the German Elasmobranch Society on a variety of shark conservation projects around the world The groups are collectively urging Signatories to promote Endorsement this autumn from the European Parliament of a European Commission proposal to strengthen the EU finning ban by ending removal of shark fins at sea Establishment this November of an international limit on shortfin mako catches through the International Commission for Conservation of Atlantic Tunas ICCAT Prohibition this December on the intentional setting of purse seines on whale sharks through the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission WCPFC and Adoption next March of Germany s proposal to include the porbeagle shark under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species CITES CITES holds great promise for advancing key sections of the CMS shark conservation plan and is particularly vital for ensuring sustainable trade in CMS listed porbeagle sharks explained Heike Zidowitz Chair of the German Elasmobranch Society We are grateful to Germany for facilitating important discussions this week in Bonn and for championing shark conservation through both of these global wildlife treaties The Signatories also formed an advisory committee of shark scientists and a process for potentially adding more species of sharks and closely related rays to be covered by the CMS Shark MoU Notes to Editors The Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals CMS is an intergovernmental treaty formed under the United Nations Environment Program http www cms int With 117 member governments CMS works for the regional and global conservation of a variety of threatened migratory animals through negotiation and implementation of agreements and action plans CMS activities and instruments are open to non Parties The German Elasmobranch Society Deutsche Elasmobranchier

    Original URL path: http://www.sharkadvocates.org/nations_agree_to_shark_conservation.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Sri Lanka Protects Thresher Sharks
    or pelagic thresher sharks and applies to fishing vessels operating in Sri Lankan waters or the high seas as well as those using Sri Lankan ports The measure also mandates the careful release of any thresher sharks caught incidentally in other fisheries and proper recording of such incidents We congratulate Sri Lanka for taking decisive action to protect these particularly vulnerable shark species said Shark Advocates International President Sonja Fordham The thresher measure is modeled after an IOTC Resolution proposed by the European Union and adopted in 2010 IOTC discussions and fish market visits since reveal that very few countries have adopted national thresher protections as agreed We urge other Indian Ocean fishing nations to follow Sri Lanka s lead and take the domestic steps that are vital to making international shark conservation measures work said Fordham Shark Advocates International SAI works closely with Project AWARE Shark Trust and Humane Society International to promote Indian Ocean shark conservation SAI is urging Sri Lanka to strictly enforce the thresher protections and follow them up with measures to benefit other species including Strict protection for the giant manta ray pursuant to 2011 commitments under the Convention on Migratory Species Precautionary fishing limits on other valuable yet vulnerable species such as makos hammerheads silky sharks and devil rays Active support of trade measures for threatened shark and ray species through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species A national shark plan pursuant to the United Nations International Plan of Action for Sharks Notes to Editors The new regulation applies to the common thresher Alopias vulpinus the bigeye thresher Alopias superciliosis and the pelagic thresher Alopias pelagicus and was issued by the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources The IUCN classifies all three thresher species as Vulnerable under the Red List for Threatened

    Original URL path: http://www.sharkadvocates.org/sri_lanka_protects_thresher_sharks.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Shark and Ray Conservation Status Revealed in New Expert Report
    chondrichthyan species we classified as Critically Endangered or Endangered signaling an alarming yet largely unnoticed trend said Dr Peter Kyne lead author on the report The high proportion of Data Deficient shark and ray species reveals serious information and knowledge gaps despite the exceptional research capacity in parts of the region The most imperiled chondrichthyan species in the region are the sawfishes a group for which the IUCN has recently launched a special global conservation strategy Other threatened species include scalloped and great hammerheads the Caribbean electric ray and the daggernose shark as well as three species of skates Despite significant improvements in regional conservation programs for sharks and rays overfishing continues to threaten these exceptionally vulnerable animals said Sonja Fordham SSG Deputy Chair and President of Shark Advocates International The U S is home to some of the world s only success stories for recovery of sharks and yet many U S species still require more stringent fishing limits In much of Central America and the Caribbean there is an urgent for need basic data and controls to stem shark and ray population declines Owing largely to fisheries management the Northeast Pacific appears to be in the best shape with a relatively high number of species listed as Least Concern and relatively few Data Deficient species Our regional results reflect the global status of chondrichthyans in that an estimated one quarter of species are threatened and the most endangered of these species are rays said Dr Nick Dulvy SSG Co Chair and Professor at Simon Fraser University The IUCN Shark Specialist Group is committed to using our expert analyses to inform research conservation and management priorities in this and other regions The SSG is urging government action on a number of fronts including fisheries data collection catch limits based

    Original URL path: http://www.sharkadvocates.org/new_shark_and_ray_report.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Mixed Results for Sharks at Pacific Tuna Commission Meeting
    proposed ban on the deliberate setting of purse seine nets on whale sharks was stalled due to opposition by Japan The Members did agree however to revisit the issue and adopt revised measures at the next WCPFC meeting in December An estimated 75 whale sharks were killed as a result of interactions with the region s purse seine fishery in 2009 and 2010 said Rebecca Regnery Deputy Director of Wildlife for Humane Society International We are perplexed and dismayed by continuing delays in adopting such basic and sensible safeguards for these globally threatened and economically important species The IUCN International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies oceanic whitetip and whale sharks as Globally Vulnerable Whale sharks are listed under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species CITES and the Convention on Migratory Species CMS Whale shark tourism worldwide has been valued at nearly 50 million The oceanic whitetip shark was denied CITES listing in 2010 but has since been protected by regional fisheries bodies governing the Eastern Tropical Pacific and the Atlantic Sharks are taken incidentally by fishermen seeking more valuable tuna or swordfish but are also targeted for their fins as well as their meat Notes to Editors Shark Advocates International SAI is a project of The Ocean Foundation established to advance science based policies for sharks and rays Humane Society International HSI is one of the only international animal protection organizations in the world working to protect all animals through programs in more than 35 countries Together SAI and HSI staff have decades of expertise as leaders in securing shark finning bans and protections for threatened shark species particularly in the U S Australia and Europe The WCPFC is an international fisheries governing body aimed at ensuring conservation and sustainable use of highly migratory

    Original URL path: http://www.sharkadvocates.org/sharks_discussed_at%20PTC_meeting.html (2016-02-18)
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  • Nations Agree to Protect Giant Manta Rays | Shark Advocates International
    are protected in Hawaii Maldives Philippines Mexico Ecuador Yap Western Australia and New Zealand but migrate into unprotected waters of other countries and the high seas Today s decision marks the first international agreement aimed at conserving manta rays and should spark new protections in key Range States such as Mozambique India Sri Lanka and Peru Manta rays can grow to more than seven meters across Female manta rays are thought to produce just one pup after a year long pregnancy which contributes to the species exceptional susceptibility to overfishing Manta rays feed on plankton filtered through their gills with the help of comb like projections known as gill rakers East Asian demand for gill rakers is reportedly resulting in dramatic increases in targeted manta ray fisheries and subsequent depletion of some local manta ray populations At the same time manta ray eco tourism is increasingly generating significant economic benefits for local communities across the globe particularly in Maldives Mozambique and Hawaii A new study estimates the worldwide value of manta based tourism and filming at US 100 million per year The manta ray listing was proposed by Ecuador The European Union Senegal Madagascar Australia United States Chile Mozambique and Uruguay took the floor to express support for the proposal The host country Norway also voiced support while suggesting that the similar reef manta ray Manta alfredi be listed at the next Conference of the Parties in three years Shark Advocates International SAI is a project of The Ocean Foundation established to advance sound policies for sharks and rays Based on nearly 20 years of shark conservation achievement SAI uses its expertise to secure science based limits on shark fishing and trade protection for endangered species and stronger bans on finning Notes to Editors CMS is an intergovernmental treaty formed under the United Nations Environment Program CMS Parties met this week in Bergen Norway for the Conference of the CMS Parties which takes place every three years CMS Appendix I reserved for species that are threatened with extinction obligates CMS Parties currently numbering 116 to strictly protect the animals conserve and restore their habitats mitigate obstacles to their migration and control other factors that might endanger them CMS Appendix II includes migratory species that need or would significantly benefit from international co operation for which CMS encourages global and or regional Agreements and concerted action among Range States Rays are closely related to sharks In the context of international policy the term shark usually includes all of the cartilaginous fishes sharks skates rays sawfish and chimaeras In 2010 CMS completed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote conservation of migratory sharks particularly the seven threatened species listed under the global CMS treaty great white whale basking shortin mako longfin mako spiny dogfish Northern hemisphere and porbeagle sharks Twenty five CMS Parties and cooperating non Parties such as the United States have now signed the Shark MoU Beyond more MoU signatories next steps include finalization of an accompanying conservation plan and a

    Original URL path: http://www.sharkadvocates.org/nations_agree_to_protect_manta_rays.html (2016-02-18)
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