Reducing shark and ray mortality
International Fund for Animal Welfare
Latin America is a significant trader in shark products, exporting much of the fins caught in the region to the provinces of Hong Kong and Taiwan, while importing meat products from the European Union. In the CITES CoP19 meeting, held in November 2022, Panama submitted the shark proposal with a high number of cosponsors (41), including the EU’s 27 votes, which was adopted with a resounding majority.
With the adoption of the new regulations, the majority of the trade in shark products needs to be sustainably and legally sourced for the very first time. The transformation of regulations of the global shark trade will be a heavy lift for governments, and significant efforts are needed to ensure these new listings are successfully and effectively implemented in a way that results in real-world mortality reductions for endangered species. Latin American governments are starting to enact better management, largely as a result of existing CITES listings, but they are at times poorly enforced and often have loopholes that allow catch and trade in endangered species to continue.
This project will use the November 2022 CITES listings as leverage to close these loopholes, cap trade to sustainable levels and ensure prohibition of catch/trade in the most endangered shark and ray species, resulting in real-world mortality reductions for shark and ray species in Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama.
For more information visit: https://www.ifaw.org/uk