EU pushes for CITES Appendix III listing of Porbeagle Sharks
Proposal for a
on the submission by the European Union of an amendment of Appendix III to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,
Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 192, paragraph 1 and Article 207, in conjunction with Article 218, paragraph 9,
Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,
(1) The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is implemented in the European Union (hereinafter: EU) by Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 of 9 December 1996.
(2) The species Lamna nasus is very vulnerable to fishing pressure due to its low productivity. It has been experiencing steep decline in the North Atlantic over the last decades, especially in the North East Atlantic, which led the Union to prohibit fishing for this species. This prohibition applies to Union vessels as well as to foreign-flagged vessels carrying out their activities in Union waters. Exploitation of stocks in other oceans of the Southern Hemisphere is largely unmanaged and unlikely to be sustainable.
(3) As the Union considered that the species may become threatened globally with extinction unless international trade is subject to strict regulation in order to avoid utilisation incompatible with its survival, it proposed its inclusion into CITES Appendix II at CITES CoP14 (2007) and CoP15 (2010). Those proposals did not reach the 2/3 thresholds of the Parties required under the CITES Convention for their adoption. As there is no evidence of a recovery of the species, and in the absence of international regime designed to ensure its management and conservation in all its area of repartition, further action by the Union is needed to protect the species.
(4) It is believed that international trade has been playing a considerable role in driving the overexploitation of porbeagle. There are currently no internationally-agreed specific data on trade in porbeagle specimens and gathering such trade data is necessary to assess the impact of international trade on the conservation of the species. With a view to fostering international cooperation for the control of trade in specimens of the Lamna nasus species and a better protection of the species, it should be included in Appendix III to the CITES Convention by all Member States.
(5) According to Article XVI of the CITES Convention, an amendment to Appendix III takes effect automatically 90 days after the submission is communicated to the Parties by the Secretariat. This amendment to the Appendices of the Convention will affect the Union legislation concerned, as any export of porbeagle from the Union would have to be accompanied by an export permit attesting the legality of the catch. Other types of trade (export into the Union, or trade between non-Union Parties) would require that a certificate of origin be produced by the exporting country.
(6) As the so-called “Gaborone” amendment to the CITES Convention has not entered into force, the Union is not yet a party to the Convention.
(7) In such circumstances a Union decision to include Lamna nasus in Appendix III to the CITES Convention should be expressed by the Member States acting jointly in the interest of the Union in a manner consistent with the requirement of unity in the external representation of the Union.
(8) The joint submission for inclusion of Lamna nasus in Appendix III to the CITES Convention should therefore be sent to the CITES Secretariat by the Member State holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union acting as a representative of the Member States.
HAS ADOPTED THIS DECISION:
The Member States, acting in the interest of the European Union, shall jointly submit to the CITES Secretariat a request to include in Appendix III of the CITES Convention the species Lamna nasus. The joint submission shall be sent to the CITES Secretariat by the Member State holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, as outlined in the Annex to this Decision.
This Decision is addressed to the Member States.
Done at Brussels,
For the Council
Submission by [the Member State holding the Presidency of the Council of the
European Union] on behalf of the EU Member States to the CITES Secretariat in view
of the inclusion of Lamna nasus into Appendix III of the CITES Convention.
In accordance with Article XVI(1) of the Convention, and after consultation with other interested CITES Parties, [the Member State holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union] submits the inclusion of Lamna nasus into Appendix III of the Convention.
The Secretariat is therefore requested to include in Appendix III of the CITES Convention for the 27 EU Member States (Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden, United Kingdom) the species indicated below:
Chondrichthyes (Subclass: Elasmobranchii)
Lamna nasus (Bonnaterre, 1788)
Source: European Commission
A short time ago, Germany has submitted its draft proposal to include the porbeagle shark in CITES Appendix II ( see here ).