Oceana urges to protect 40 marine species under CITES listings

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Oceana supports the banning of the international trade of bluefin tuna and asks for 8 shark species and 31 red and pink coral species to be regulated


March 15, 2010
Madrid
Contact:
Marta Madina ( mmadina@oceana.org )




Oceana urges to protect 40 marine species under CITES listings, including banning bluefin tuna international trade under Appendix I and regulating the trade of 8 shark species and 31 red and pink coral species through Appendix II. A group of scientists and campaigners of the international marine conservation organization arrived yesterday at Doha, Qatar. Oceana experts are attending there the 15th Conference of the Parties of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), which prevents species from extinction as a result of international trade.

Atlantic bluefin tuna has been proposed for listing under Appendix I of CITES as illegal fishing and international trade are driving this species toward collapse. Bluefin tunas are among the most valuable fish in the world, and their meat used in sushi and sashimi. In the last few years, nearly all of the declared bluefin tuna caught in the Mediterranean has been exported overseas. Western Atlantic bluefin tuna stock has been reduced by more than 82%. Oceana and MarViva urge its inclusion under Appendix I, which bans commercial international trade for species who are almost threatened with extinction.

Eight shark species have been proposed for listing to Appendix II of CITES, which would imply the need for export permits. The international demand for shark products, particularly their fins, is driving many shark populations to the brink of extinction. For this reason, Oceana supports the listing of oceanic whitetip and scalloped hammerhead sharks, plus four "look-alike species" –dusky, sandbar, smooth hammerhead and great hammerhead sharks-, as well as porbeagle and spurdog.

The thirty-one species of red and pink corals have been proposed for listing on CITES Appendix II by the United States and the European Union. These corals are intensively exploited to supply international demand for jewellery and other products, and their removal deprives other marine species of food and shelter. Since the 1980s, landings have declined more than 60-80% and the populations of the polyps have declined roughly 80-90%. Oceana supports their inclusion in CITES Appendix II, since it is needed to ensure the future of these species and the marine habitats they provide.