It is set to be a big year for sharks in Australia and on a global front. Many important sharks have been nominated for listing under the Convention of Migratory Species (CMS), the important UN environmental treaty. Australia is set to vote for the protection of these sharks in just a few weeks and we need your help to make it happen!
The sharks nominated for listing at this year’s CMS are the whale shark, dusky shark, blue shark, angel shark, the wedge fish and common guitarfish. These shark species are all under threat from overfishing, the fin trade, habitat loss and marine debris.
Shockingly, whale sharks, one of the most majestic marine animals are still targeted in some international fisheries! They also suffer devastating deaths from entanglement in nets and from boat strikes. The blue shark is the most migratory and wide ranging of all sharks. But it is also caught in fisheries and as bycatch at a staggering 20 million individuals a year making it the most commonly found shark in the destructive fin trade. The dusky shark is also a prominent species of the fin trade, and is being killed in international longline fisheries, including in Australia. Dusky sharks are also a target for recreational game fishers looking for a trophy.
The angel shark and the common guitarfish are not found in Australian waters but these special species have suffered severe population losses and are now extinct from most of their inshore coastal habitats. The white-spotted wedgefish is highly sought after in Asia, sadly, it is a really easy species to catch, and they fetch high prices for their fins in trade.
It is for all of these reasons that we are pushing for our Government to support these shark listings under CMS.
Australia is an important and respected member of CMS, and while the Australian Government has been great at securing protection for sharks at CMS in the past, more recently they have dropped the ball. Australia has taken out ‘reservations’ following recent CMS conferences to enable commercial and recreational fishers to keep catching the CMS listed species in Australia. So this year we need to urge the Environment Minister to give these sharks the protection they deserve and to stop targeted fishing of sharks in Australia; and we can’t do it without you.
Use our online form below to tell Minister Frydenberg to protect our important top predators.