Blog Tags: Endangered Species
This is the latest in a series of posts from CITES. See the rest of the dispatches here.
Over the weekend, CITES failed to include 31 species of red and pink coral in Appendix II, trade protections that were promised during the last CITES Conference more than two and a half years ago.
These corals are harvested to meet the growing demand for jewelry and souvenirs. The unregulated and virtually unmanaged collection and trade of these species is driving them to extinction.
Many of the corals are long-lived, reaching more than 100 years of age, and grow slowly, usually less than one millimeter in thickness per year. These colonies are fragile and extremely vulnerable to exploitation and destruction, and their biological characteristics severely limit their ability to recover.
Oceana campaign director Dave Allison had this to say about the corals decision (first video), as well as the failure of CITES to protect marine species in general (second video.)
This is the fifth in a series of dispatches from CITES. You can read the other dispatches here.
Although there were repeated calls from delegates from the E.U., U.S. and Monaco to allow time for parties to meet and arrive at a compromise position, a Libya delegate forced a preemptory vote on the E.U. proposal, which resulted in a 43 to 72 vote, with 14 abstaining.
Campaign director Dave Allison called the defeat "a clear win by short-term economic interest over the long-term health of the ocean and the rebuilding of Atlantic bluefin tuna populations."
The decision could spell the beginning of the end for the tigers of the sea.
Here's Oceana's Maria Jose Cornax on the decision:
This is the fourth in a series of posts from CITES. Read the rest of the CITES dispatches here.
It was an eventful day at CITES for sharks. Oceana released a report today about the international trade of shark fins, and a non-controversial, non-binding measure on sharks failed to pass. Marine scientist Elizabeth Griffin talks about today's roller coaster ride.
This is the third in a series of posts from CITES. Check out the rest of our dispatches here,
In today's dispatch from Doha, Oceana shark scientist Rebecca Greenberg gives us an insider's tour of CITES, from the main conference hall to one of the most important strategic lobbying areas: the coffee station.
You can also read updates from author Charles Clover on MarViva's Doha Diary blog.
This is the first in a series of posts from CITES. Read the rest of the dispatches here.
CITES is now in session in Doha, Qatar. Our team will be there for the next 10 days pushing for further trade restrictions on corals, sharks and the Atlantic bluefin tuna. They sent us this video dispatch of campaign director Dave Allison from the airport en route. Stay tuned for more!
We're celebrating a big win yesterday for loggerhead sea turtles.
In response to two petitions submitted in 2007 by Oceana, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Turtle Island Restoration Network, yesterday the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service issued a proposed rule to change the status of North Pacific and Northwest Atlantic loggerhead sea turtles from “threatened” to “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act.
The government also proposed listing loggerhead sea turtles around the globe as nine separate populations, each with its own threatened or endangered status.
The change in listing status means the populations are in danger of extinction and will trigger a legal requirement for proposed critical habitat, an important step in achieving improved protections for key nesting beaches and migratory and feeding habitat in the ocean.
On this hump day, a few cetaceous stories for your perusal:
As you've probably heard, the team behind Sunday’s Oscar-winning documentary “The Cove” exposed Santa Monica sushi restaurant The Hump for serving illegal whale meat. The possession or sale of marine mammals -- in this case, the endangered sei whale -- is a violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and can lead to a year in prison and a fine of $20,000.
And on the brighter side, the BBC has a remarkable slideshow of images showing a sperm whale surface feeding off the coast of New Zealand. Surface feeding is uncommon for sperm whales, who usually hunt many meters below the sea’s surface -- this individual must have been pretty hungry.
Some great news for the imperiled bluefin tuna: Today the U.S. announced that it supports a total ban on the international trade of the tigers of the sea, which could make a big difference in the two weeks leading up to the CITES meeting in Doha.
Thanks to all of you who have taken action leading up to CITES. Now let's hope the European Union follows suit.
Things could be looking up for the tigers of the sea.
Next month, 175 nations will meet in Doha, Qatar to discuss whether bluefin tuna will join the likes of pandas and elephants as endangered species under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
While France has joined Monaco in declaring its support for the ban, Spain’s position remains in doubt.
Spain currently holds the EU presidency and the dubious honor of catching much of the Mediterranean's bluefin tuna. Yesterday, Oceana held an event along with Greenpeace, MarViva, Pew, WWF and Ecologistas en Acción urging Spain to support the ban.
Kofi Annan, Michael Douglas and Colin Firth, among many other public personalities, have signed on in support of the listing.
Oceana will be in Doha in March voicing our support for bluefin. Here’s hoping -- and stay tuned.
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