CITES Proposals submitted to protect four pelagic shark species and devil rays
Helmut Nickel (mail), Shark Year Magazine,
07. February 2016
On 05. February, CITES has informed its members on the latest received proposals to amend the Appendices for several marine species.
All these proposals are related to elasmobranch species (sharks and rays) and will be considered at the seventeenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP17) that will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa from 24 September to 5 October 2016.
Sri Lanka has proposed the inclusion of all three species of thresher sharks (Alopias spp.) in Appendix II of the convention. This proposal is co-proposed by the Maldives.
Furthermore, the Maldives seek to add another pelagic shark species, the silky shark (Carcharhinus falciformis), in Appendix II of the convention.
Appendix II includes species which are not necessarily threatened with extinction, but in which trade must be controlled in order to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival.
A third proposal by Fiji aims to include any putative species of devil rays ( Mobula spp. ) in the same Appendix. The CITES notification explicitly names nine different species which are listed in the table below.
During the last meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP16 in Bangkok, 2013), the required 2/3 majority of the member states voted in favour of the inclusion of the two manta ray species in Appendix II.
Now the side-intention of the new Fiji-proposal is to complement the trade regulations for the already CITES-listed manta rays (Manta spp.) rather than solely protecting the population of devil rays (Mobula spp.). Because it is believed that law enforcement officers are unlikely to be able to distinguish between specimens of the two similar-looking genera.
The 30. October 2015 was the official deadline for the submission of proposals to amend Appendices I and II for consideration at CoP17 ( if the species occurs partly or totally outside of the territory under the proponent’s jurisdiction and if the proponent does not intend to consult the other range States before the submission of its proposal).