The Beacon

Blog Tags: Shark Conservation

Sharks and Rays Gain International Protection under CITES Listing

CITES Appendix II is protecting six new species of sharks and rays

An oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus), one of the species now protected under CITES Appendix II. (Photo: Michael Aston / Flickr Creative Commons)

Today, seven sharks and ray species have gained international protection under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), making it a wonderful day for shark and ray conservation. This means that seven new species have been added to CITES’ Appendix II, which regulates their global trade in an effort to prevent overexploitation.


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Ocean Roundup: Western Australia Recommended to Halt Shark Cull, Orca Pod Saves Member from Fishing Gear, and More

Orca pod helped rescue a struggling member in fishing gear

A pod of orcas. Recently, members of an orca pod off New Zealand helped rescue a fellow whale from fishing gear. (Photo: Marie and Alistair Knock / Flickr Creative Commons)

- In a remarkable rescue, members of an orca pod helped save one of their own from fishing gear off New Zealand. Rescuers say the pod pushed the orca, who was carrying a 77-pound cray pot line, to the ocean’s surface to breath, and rescuers were then able to take over to free her from the gear. The Dodo


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Ocean Roundup: Acidification Masking Shark Smelling Abilities, New Fishery Rule to Protect Endangered Albatross, and More

Smooth dogfish could lose their sense of smell from acidification

A smooth dogfish (Mustelus canis). (Photo: Erickson Smith / Flickr Creative Commons)

- NOAA has proposed a new rule to for West Coast commercial fishermen that intends to the endangered short-tailed albatross, a seabird whose numbers are down to 1,200 individuals. The rule requires fishermen to deploy streamer lines, already required off Alaska and Hawaii, which would scare off albatross from eating bait. The Associated Press


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Shark Fin Sales in China Show Promising Signs of Decline, Says Report

Interest in shark fins in China may be dropping according to WildAid

An oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharinus longimanus), a species commonly harvested for the shark fin trade. (Photo: Michael Aston / Flickr Creative Commons)

Shark fin soup was once a delicacy in Asian nations reserved for the upper class, but in recent years, has become more readily available to both upper and middle classes. Now common at weddings, banquets, and business meetings, China has emerged as a nation with the largest market for shark fin sales.


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CITES Listing Countdown: Less Than Two Weeks until Oceanic Whitetip Sharks are Protected

Oceanic whitetip sharks will receive protections under CITES

An oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus). (Photo: Jürgen Donauer / Flickr Creative Commons)

On September 14, 2014, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) will add seven sharks and rays to Appendix II, meaning that global trade of these species will be restricted. At Oceana, we work to protect marine species from overexploitation every day, so we’re thrilled about the new listings. To celebrate, we’ll be spotlighting all seven species that are receiving protections on September 14 in a series of countdown blog posts on The Beacon.


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Ocean Roundup: 20 Coral Species to Gain Federal Protection, Shell Files New Plan for Arctic Drilling, and More

20 coral species to gain protection

Rough cactus coral, one of the new coral species to be listed as threatened. (Photo: FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute / Flickr Creative Commons)

- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced it will list 20 new species of coral as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, largely because of climate change. Found in both the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, these corals are also threatened by overfishing, runoff, and coastal construction. The Associated Press 


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CITES Listing Countdown: Less Than Three Weeks until Porbeagle Sharks are Protected

Porbeagles will be protected under CITES on September 14

A porbeagle shark (Lamna nasus). (Photo: NMFS, E. Hoffmayer, S. Iglésias and R. McAuley, via Wikimedia Commons)

On September 14, 2014, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) will add seven sharks and rays to Appendix II, meaning that global trade of these species will be restricted. At Oceana, we work to protect marine species from overexploitation every day, so we’re thrilled about the new listings.


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Hammerhead Shark Management Should Reflect Unique Evolutionary Traits, Scientists Say

A school of scalloped hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna lewini)

A school of scalloped hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna lewini). (Photo: Oceana / Rob Stewart)

Known for their mallet-shaped heads, hammerhead sharks are one of the most easily recognized—and favored—shark species. Their “hammers” give them a widened-view to scan for food, and they have enhanced sensory organs that can detect electrical fields from their prey. If that doesn’t make hammerheads cool enough, they can grow to incredible sizes—reaching 20 feet in length and weighing up to 1,000 pounds.


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Shark Antibodies Could Improve Human Disease Treatment, Study Shows

Galapagos shark swimming over coral

Galapagos shark (Carcharhinus galapagensis). (Photo: Oceana / Eduardo Sorensen)

Sharks are often portrayed as the monsters of the deep or the villains in horror movies, famous for their menacing teeth and killer attack instincts. In real life, however, sharks have recently inspired scientists to make strides toward improving treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis.


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Marylanders: Tell Your Senators to Protect Sharks

Today, the Maryland state Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee is holding a hearing on numerous bills including a bill that would ban the possession, sale, trade and distribution of shark and ray fins.

This bill will help protect global shark populations by reducing the demand for their fins. Each year, tens of million sharks are killed so that their fins can be used in shark fin soup. In the United States, the cruel and wasteful practice of shark finning is illegal. However, many fins are imported from all around the world, contributing to the demand for shark fins and the overfishing of sharks.

Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, and California have already passed similar laws, and bills have also been introduced in New York, Illinois, Florida, and Virginia. Oceana supports Maryland’s initiative and asks that state residents do so as well.

Please show your support by telling your legislator to vote for SB 465!


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