Increased protection for West African Manatee and Introduction from the Sea proposal adopted
After the disappointment of this morning’s polar bear vote, news from the afternoon was much better. Much hard work from West African range states, supported by HSI and many other groups within the Species Survival Network, saw the proposal to transfer the West African Manatee from Appendix II to Appendix I was adopted by consensus.
This means that the international trade in the meat of this vulnerable marine mammal is now banned. HSI was encouraged by the extremely strong statements made by the three co-proponents of the proposal: Benin; Senegal; and Sierra Leone.
Further important progress was also made on the rather technical but vital issue of Introduction from the Sea. After more than ten years of focused efforts by a working group, a vote was taken which resulted in the adoption of this important proposal. What this means in practice is that there is now clear guidance on who issues CITES permits for species caught on the high seas, an important development before discussion of the proposed listing of shark species begins later in the conference.
In addition, six proposals by Australia to remove a number of extinct (or presumed to be extinct) species from the CITES Appendices (such as the Thylacine) were also all adopted by consensus. HSI supported these proposals, in the knowledge that if such species were ever to be rediscovered, they species would still be protected under our national environmental laws (EPBC Act).
Finally this evening, HSI together with our partner organisations is hosting a reception on the shark and ray proposals where we hope to help better inform countries of the need to regulate the trade in a number of shark and ray species.