PROTECTING SHARKS INTERNATIONALLY
Sharks are a migratory species that move across international boundaries, so the increasing, international attention on the plight of sharks is very welcome. HSI works in a number of international environmental fora to ensure that sharks remain high on the agendas of these meetings.
In 2009 Palau put in place the world’s first shark sanctuary followed in 2010 by Honduras, banning the fishing of sharks in their waters in recognition of the fact that sharks are worth far more alive to their tourism industry, than they are dead in a bowl of soup. In 2010 President Johnson Toribiong of Palau and President Porfirio Lobo Sosa of Honduras signed a historic agreement challenging the world to save its sharks for future generations, with President Lobo of Honduras stating:
“We call on other governments to join us in protecting sharks in their waters, for the sake of healthy coastal marine ecosystems and economic development.”
Since then many more countries have implemented similar bans.
HSI was instrumental in lobbying for new text to be adopted via a resolution under the United Nations General Assembly on shark finning in 2007, requesting specific measures such as limiting catch or fishing effort, requiring that vessels collect and regularly report data on shark catches, discards and landings, undertaking comprehensive stock assessments of sharks and reducing shark by-catch. In an unprecedented move, the resolution also adopted language to encourage that all sharks should be landed with their fins attached to their carcasses.
HSI lobbying led to Australia pushing for a listing for the Great White Shark at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The Great White Shark is highly prized for its jaws, which can fetch tens of thousands of dollars from US and European collectors. The species was listed on Appendix III by Australia at CoP12 and up listed to Appendix II at CoP13.
HSI is a member of the Species Survival Network Fish Working Group, which is also campaigning for CITES protection for a number of shark species, threatened by international trade for their meat, oil and fins. The Species Survival Network is a coalition of conservation NGOs from around the world seeking protection for species in international trade.
For further information on HSI's recent work on sharks at CITES click here
HSI lobbied for international action to protect the Whale Shark and Great White Shark under the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) or the Bonn Convention. Such highly migratory species will benefit from a Regional Agreement amongst their range states.
HSI successfully lobbied for an international agreement under the auspices of CMS to provide protection for the conservation and management of CMS listed shark species. The CMS Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Sharks came into effect on 1 March 2010, following a meeting attended by HSI in Manila. HSI was also an adviser on the Australian Government's delegation to a meeting to start negotiations for a CMS shark agreement in December 2007.
Since 2007 HSI has continued to play an active role in the development of a Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Sharks under CMS (CMS Sharks MoU), attending the first Meeting of Signatories in 2012 where we became a cooperating partner of the CMS Sharks MoU. HSI also attended the 10th Conference of Parties of CMS in Bergen Norway in November 2011.
In November 2014, the attention of CMS has further focused on sharks, with a total seven proposals for 21 species being considered at the upcoming 11th Conference of Parties of CMS (CoP11) in Quito, Ecuador. HSI has been actively promoting the need for CMS to protect more migratory sharks and therefore we are excited that this record number of shark and ray proposals will be considered – making it the ‘shark CoP’.
For further information on HSI’s recent work on sharks at CMS click here
HSI continues to lobby for greater bycatch mitigation efforts for sharks at various meetings of tuna Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs). HSI has attended tuna RFMO meetings as well as the recent Kobe II bycatch workshop in Brisbane in late 2010. Following this workshop, HSI worked with partner NGOs to publish a Compendium of Conservation and Management Measures to address the impacts of species bycatch in tuna RFMOs - a set of best practice conservation and management measures for sharks, seabirds, sea turtles and marine mammals in tuna fisheries. Click here to view the PDF(253.8 kB)
HSI's international shark conservation campaign is part of our broader shark conservation program. For more information click here
Latest News Protecting Sharks Internationally
AUSTRALIA CONTINUES TO PURSUE LOW-HANGING FRUIT IN INTERNATIONAL SHARK CONSERVATION
17 February 2016 click here
INFLUENCE OF RECREATIONAL FISHERS IN INTERNATIONAL SHARK PROTECTION EXEMPTION REVEALED BY FOI DOCUMENTS
30 April 2015 click here
AUSTRALIA TAKES UNPRECEDENTED BACKWARDS STEP ON SHARK CONSERVATION
29th January 2014 click here
AUSTRALIA DENIES DOMESTIC PROTECTION FOR GLOBALLY THREATENED MIGRATORY SHARKS - IN FAVOUR OF COMMERCIAL AND SPORT FISHERMEN
20th January 2015 click here
unprecedented conservation measures agreed for key marine species
10th November 2014 click here
Australia Joins Unprecedented Effort For International Shark And Ray Trade
October 16th 2012 download PDF (95.8 Kb)
Hsi Partners In United Nations' Global Shark Conservation Agreement
October 3rd 2012 click here