10 species of shark and ray including scalloped, smooth and great hammerheads, oceanic white tip sharks, porbeagles and manta rays have been put forward as species requiring protection, ahead of a CITES meeting next year in Bangkok, Thailand.
Many shark species are currently facing enormous pressures from overfishing, especially from those exploiting them for their fins to be used in shark fin soup and for their gill rakers which are used in Chinese medicine.
The 176 members of the CITES committee will analyze the shark and ray protection proposals before a final vote in Bangkok in March 2013. As a precursor for the CITES committee meeting next year, a four-day ‘Shark Conservation in Arabia’ workshop is currently taking place in Dubai, UAE.
If the CITES proposal is successful, endangered shark and ray species would become protected from overfishing.
Note :: CITES is an international agreement between world governments to ensure that the trade in vulnerable and endangered species does not threaten a species survival. Species with CITES protection are legally protected from hunting, fishing and being sold as pets, ornaments or body parts.