UPDATED – CITES Accepts Proposals to Regulate Trade of Seven Shark and Manta Species

CITES-logo2aInternational Wildlife Treaty approves Shark- and Manta- Proposals at the Conference of the Parties (CoP16) in Bangkok


Helmut Nickel, Shark Year Magazine,
11. March 2013
 The following provides an update on our previous post CITES Meeting 2013: Greater International Protection proposed for 10 Shark and Ray Species

Today, CITES members have voted on four proposals to list five species of sharks ( Oceanic whitetip shark, three hammerhead species, and porbeagle shark ) and two species of Manta rays under Appendix II of the Convention.

All proposals have been accepted by meeting the required two-third majority of the votes cast.

The manta-proposal (No.46) has met the 2/3 majority level by a bigger margin than the three shark proposals (No. 42,43,44 ).

The CITES parties acknowledge with their votes that these animals are not necessarily threatened with extinction, but the trade must be controlled in order to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival. So the international trade of these shark species will be just controlled and regulated, it won’t become illegal.

A CITES Appendix II listing has basically no influence on the trade within a country. Regarding the international trade, an export-permit by the Management Authority of the State is required. But no import permit is needed unless required by national law.

The inclusion of these seven elasmobranch species in Appendix II of CITES will become effective in 18 months (September 2014) to enable parties to resolve related technical and administrative issues.

But conservationists should not celebrate too soon, as there is still the slim possibility that one of today’s decisions might be overturned at the final plenary session at the end of the Cites meeting.

This case happened with the porbeagle proposal at the previous CITES CoP15 in Doha 2010.

As a reminder, please see the related article (published in March 2010) CITES changes mind on porbeagle shark.

The two tables below show the results of today’s votes and all decisions made on proposals to list shark species under Appendices I and II since the 14th meeting of CITES parties in 2007.

The vote to transfer the sawfish Pristis microdon from Appendix II to Appendix I (Proposal 45) will take place later today.

There are also two proposals (No. 47,48), regarding the inclusion of three freshwater stingrays in Appendix II, on the CITES agenda.


The Australian proposal (No.45) to transfer freshwater sawfish (Pristis microdon) from Apppendix II to Appendix I was accepted by consensus in Committee I this afternoon. International commercial trade in Appendix-I listed species is in general prohibited.

UPDATE 12.March :

Two proposals were rejected today.

Ceja River Stingray proposal No.47 and Ocellate river stingray and rosette river stingray proposal No.48 were NOT adopted ( see  tables below ).


 Table 1

Results of votes at CITES CoP16 in Bangkok, March 2013

CITES table1Table 2

Sharks, Skates and Rays at the last three Conferences of the Parties ( CoP14 to Cop16 ).

All decisions made on proposals to list Elasmobrach species under Appendices I and II.

Red : Proposals were either withdrawn or rejected.
Green : Proposals were accepted.

CITES table2


  1. Angel

    Lets cross our fingers and wait for final vote..

  2. Angel

    This is great news. A reference point is set up.
    First, I want to thank Helmut for the great work on the issue, comparing the last Cites meetings and results makes it easier for everyone to understand and follow the progress even if they are not interested in the subject directly.
    Second, another well deserved thanks to Helmut on running such a great information network and bring them to our eyes on almost every subject about sharks. It is easy to read and follow up for us but getting all this information together on multiple subjects and present them unbiased is very hard. Please remember that we have all kinds of people here in the readers group. Loving sharks to hating sharks and some go in between. 
    This is not a shark conservation site but still all of us can openly write what we think, sometimes to the extremes. 
    Third, I want to thank all the people, NGO’s, foundations and institutions that put a great effort for this outcome. They are the real ones who realized the value of conservation and teaching all of us relentlessly. They all deserve a great, warm hug.
    Fourth, I want to thank all the representatives who voted for protection. I know sometimes it is hard to negotiate the outcome especially when it touches economic bases. But the real protection effort comes from the real people and you did it. Not just theories and polls but real votes made it happen. Thank you.

  3. Yesterday I had this article published, which focuses on the new shark protection decisions by Cites:


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