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March 11, 2013

HSI and The HSUS Commend CITES Parties for Protecting Certain Shark and Ray Species from International Commercial Trade

Humane Society International Deputy Wildlife Director Rebecca Regnery released the following statement praising an interim decision at the meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species to list five shark species and two species of manta rays, great and reef, on Appendix II. Protection for freshwater sawfish was also increased from Appendix II to Appendix I. Final decisions are expected later this week. The inclusion of oceanic whitetip, porbeagle and three species of hammerhead sharks in the CITES appendices is the first addition of commercially valuable shark and ray species in the Convention’s 40-year history.

“Humane Society International and The Humane Society of the United States applaud the leadership of those countries who voted to protect ray and shark species. Increased protections are crucial for the survival of these vulnerable and over-exploited species threatened by over-fishing, illegal fishing, finning and gilling. Removing the most valuable parts of the species and throwing the mutilated animal back in to the ocean is cruel and wasteful. We urge CITES parties to uphold the decision for the remainder of the meeting.”

For facts on sharks and rays and CITES proposals, please visit hsi.org/citessharks and hsi.org/citesrays

Through March14 in Bangkok, CITES member countries are meeting to decide which species should be protected, and to impose controls or bans on their international commercial trade by adding them to one of the treaty’s appendices. An animal (or a plant) placed on Appendix I of CITES receives the highest level of protection – international commercial trade in its parts and products is effectively banned. An animal or plant listed on Appendix II allows for international trade, but with regulations. 

A delegation from The HSUS and HSI is at the meeting, championing more than 40 proposals to provide greater protections for wildlife. 

U.S. Media Contact: Rebecca Basu, +1 (240-753-4875), rbasu@humanesociety.org

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