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The 124 governments of the UN Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) have taken action toward protecting six shark species. The decision came at the end of the week-long 12th Conference of the Parties (CoP12) in Manila on Saturday, October 28.
The governments of Honduras, Israel, Mauritania, Monaco, the Philippines, Samoa, Senegal, Sri Lanka, and Togo proposed six species—whale sharks, angel sharks, white-spotted wedgefish, common guitarfish, dusky sharks, and blue sharks – for protection through addition to the CMS lists, known as appendices.
Appendix I prohibits the catch of any of these endangered species from any place they migrate, and Appendix II identifies the shark species most in need of conservation action, encouraging cooperation to properly manage and protect the species throughout their migratory range.
Whale sharks, angel sharks, and common guitarfish in the Mediterranean were placed on Appendix I and dusky, angel and blue sharks, white-spotted wedgefish, and common guitarfish globally on Appendix II.
“The momentum for protecting sharks continues to build, thanks to the significant step CMS members have taken toward better management of six at-risk shark species,” said Kerri Lynn Miller, a conservation expert on Pew Charitable Trusts shark conservation project.
“These species, like many others, are migratory, even those that spend part of their lives in protected waters, leaving them vulnerable to various types of fishing gear. In some regions, the newly protected shark species have experienced population declines of 50 percent or more.”
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