Landmark agreement to conserve migratory sharks comes into force
Humane Society International (HSI) today welcomed the agreement late on Friday evening of a landmark international agreement to conserve migratory sharks. The agreement, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Migratory Sharks under the UN Convention for the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS), aims to increase international coordination to ensure action is taken to protect migratory sharks. Migratory sharks are inherently vulnerable to a number of threats, particularly fishing activities and trade. Coordinated international action is required in order to address these threats and work to improve species’ conservation status.
“HSI welcomes this exciting new agreement which we believe has the potential to help address the threats posed to the world’s migratory sharks” said Alexia Wellbelove of Humane Society International. “However in order to address these threats, Governments must implement the actions as set out in the agreement and the Conservation Plan currently in draft. HSI looks forward to working with the Australian Government towards concerted conservation action on migratory sharks in Australian waters and beyond, and we hope that Australia will act quickly to become a party to this landmark agreement.”
The MoU was finalised at a meeting in Manila, and officially came into force when 10 countries signed on including the Philippines, Palau, Costa Rica, the US, Senegal, Togo, Congo, Guinea, Ghana and Liberia. It is a non-binding agreement which covers the 7 species of migratory shark which are currently listed on the CMS Appendices – whale, basking, great white, porbeagle, northern hemisphere population of spiny dogfish, longfin mako and shortfin mako sharks.
Australia’s representative was active at the meeting overseeing an important working group at the meeting which succeeded in getting consensus on one of the major issues still to be resolved under this international agreement – which species were to be covered by the agreement. HSI representatives at the meeting, from our Australian and US offices, worked hard in the margins of the meeting to ensure that there was strong support for the inclusion of all seven species of shark currently on the CMS Appendices. These sharks are the great white, basking, whale, porbeagle, shortfin mako, longfin mako, and spiny dogfish (Northern hemisphere populations) sharks.