International wildlife trade meeting gets underway in Bangkok
This Sunday, delegates from 177 countries will convene in Bangkok for the 16th meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Under consideration at this meeting are a number of proposals concerning shark and ray species, seeking to regulate their trade internationally. The species include the oceanic whitetip, scalloped hammerhead, great hammerhead and smooth hammerhead, and porbeagle sharks as well as the freshwater sawfish, manta rays and three freshwater stingray species.
“Shark and ray populations are in trouble and international trade is a key driver in their decline as sharks are being taken at an unsustainable rate primarily for their fins for shark fin soup,” said Alexia Wellbelove of Humane Society International. “CITES provides us with an important opportunity to better regulate shark products to sustainable levels and help protect the future of these species. We are therefore strongly urging all countries to support these proposals.”
A proposal to list the polar bear under Appendix I of CITES, the highest level of protection possible under the Convention, will also be considered at the meeting and HSI hopes that all parties, including Australia, will support this proposal.
HSI will join a strong team of campaigners in Bangkok from the Species Survival Network (SSN), a coalition of more than 90 national and international conservation groups that work together to secure CITES protection for species threatened by wildlife trade.
More information including factsheets on each of the proposals under consideration can be viewed at http://www.ssn.org/
The meeting will take place in Bangkok, Thailand, from 3-14 March 2013