New Report Shows Most Countries are Falling Short on Commitments to Protect Sharks and Rays

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Shark Advocates International (SAI) have released Sharks Ahead, a report revealing countries are falling short on their obligations to protect shark and ray species through the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS). The Shark Trust, Project AWARE, and Defenders of Wildlife collaborate with SAI in efforts to promote proper implementation of these conservation commitments and have endorsed the SAI report. Shark experts from these organizations offer the following statements about the report’s findings:

We are particularly concerned about the lack of progress to safeguard vulnerable shortfin makos from overfishing,” said Ali Hood, Director of Conservation for the Shark Trust.Ten years after their listing on CMS Appendix II, this highly migratory shark is still not subject to any international fishing quotas or even basic limits in the country that lands the most: Spain. We call on the European Commission to take action later this month — when they set quotas for scores of other commercially valuable species – and ban the landing of North Atlantic shortfin mako, as advised by scientists.

Manta rays are exceptional for their inherent vulnerability, their status as species to be strictly protected by CMS Parties, and their popularity with tourists,” said Ian Campbell, Project AWARE’s Associate Director of Policy. Unfortunately, manta rays continue to be legally fished in countries that have also committed to protect them and could support marine ecotourism. Countries such as the Seychelles benefit economically from manta-based tourism yet could do much more to develop national protection measures for mantas as part of their ‘blue economy’ development strategies.

This report underscores our long-term frustration with continued fishing of endangered hammerheads,” said Alejandra Goyenechea, Senior International Counsel for Defenders of Wildlife. “We urge Costa Rica to collaborate with the US and EU on efforts to establish regional hammerhead safeguards for the eastern tropical Pacific and call them to join Panama and Honduras to fulfil their commitments for all migratory sharks and rays listed under CMS.”


For more information about the charities behind this please follow the links:

Project Aware

Shark Trust

Defenders of Wildlife

Shark Advocates

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Team Scubaverse

Team Scubaverse manages the Scubaverse website

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