Oceana welcomes the EU countries support for proposing the listing of two shark species in CITES

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European countries rejected to support Monaco’s proposal to list bluefin tuna in CITES Appendix I, thus banning its international trade


September 22, 2009
Madrid
Contact:
Marta Madina ( mmadina@oceana.org )




Oceana is pleased that the European Union countries have agreed to submit Germany’s proposals on sharks to the CITES Conference of the Parties next year. These proposals are to list the spurdog (Squalus acanthias) and porbeagle (Lamna nasus) sharks on Appendix II of CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. The populations of these vulnerable species have declined all around the world, subjected to unsustainable fishing and increased market demand. The meat of both species is highly valued in Europe.

 

These sharks may become threatened with extinction unless their trade is regulated, and an Appendix II listing would ensure that only catches from sustainably managed fisheries enter international trade. Those countries wishing to export these species must issue a permit demonstrating that trade would not be detrimental to the future of these species.

 

These two proposals were also brought to the last CITES Conference of the Parties in 2007, but the proposals did not reach the required majorities. Oceana notes that these species both meet the requirements to be added to CITES Appendix II, and urges the Parties to vote in their favour in CITES conference in Doha next year.

 

Mediterranean countries, against protecting bluefin tuna

 

On the other hand, Oceana and MarViva are disappointed at the irresponsible behaviour of EU Member States in rejecting support for the Monaco proposal to add bluefin tuna to CITES Appendix I. The proposal, which was intended to ban international trade in order to preserve the species, was strongly opposed by Mediterranean countries in the same meeting yesterday evening at the EU Committee on trade in Wild Fauna and Flora.


Xavier Pastor, Executive Director for Oceana in Europe stated: “It is deplorable that the EU member states that are mostly responsible for the depletion of bluefin tuna stocks, refused to agree a measure that would have helped reverse the situation. They continue to defend the interests of the tuna fishing industry with apparent disregard for the fact they are pushing tuna to the point of no return.”