Sharks Win Protection at CITES Convention

March 21, 2013

The 2013 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), a 12-day summit held every three years, took place earlier this month in Bangkok, Thailand.

The convention is being hailed by many conservationists as one of the most successful in recent decades, a sentiment being echoed by 2010 Goldman Prize recipient Randall Aruaz and his team at PRETOMA.

Arauz attended CITES as the marine species advisor to the Costa Rican delegation and celebrated as several new safeguards to protect sharks were passed. According to US Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe, the shark rulings were “probably the most significant advancement” to come out of the convention.

Five shark species were added to Appendix II of the CITES convention, including porbeagles, oceanic whitetips, great hammerheads, scalloped hammer heads and smooth hammerheads.

“This measure will finally control the irrational and unsustainable catch of hammerhead sharks to meet the demand of shark fins in international markets,” Aruaz said.