1) SSG Intervention on the Shark Agenda Item
During a CITES Conference of the Parties (CoP), reports are received from the Animals Committee on discussions and meetings that have happened since the last CoP. Prior to the beginning of CITES 16th CoP, a report was submitted by the Sharks and Stingrays Working Group of the Animals Committee that included decisions (recommendations) to Parties (countries) about how to move forward certain aspects of the international trade management of sharks and stingrays.
This afternoon (March 5th) a member of the Animals Committee verbally introduced this report to the CITES Parties. Parties then had the opportunity to give an intervention (comment) on the recommendations from this report. Intergovernmental Organisations sometimes have the opportunity to give an intervention on these items. In this case Nick Dulvy, Co-Chair of the IUCN Shark Specialist Group, was given the opportunity to provide an intervention on behalf of the IUCN and TRAFFIC.
The text is included below but to summarise (and translate the jargon), we asked parties to provide information on the type of fisheries capture production data that they provide to FAO - for example is it wet weight, dressed weight, (or what) - and for FAO to make this data publically available to aid analysis of this data. We also agreed with Colombia and Australia on the importance on maintaining focus on the family Potamotrygonidae - the Freshwater Stingrays - in South America.
Following our intervention, the discussion began on whether to include our suggested text. We hope that our intervention will have increased the strength of the Resolution (output of this discussion).
Thank you Chair,
IUCN and TRAFFIC note the valuable work that Parties have contributed towards improving the knowledge base for the conservation and management of sharks and rays since the Parties first raised their concern about this taxonomic group at CoP9 in 1994.
The IUCN Shark Specialist Group has assessed all 1,044 chondrichthyan species and 17% are listed as threatened on the IUCN Red List. Thus, the need for CITES Parties to prioritise action on sharks and rays has never been greater.
CoP16 Doc. 61 (Rev. 1) outlines some appropriate steps forward but we note a few critical areas of work that could be expanded upon:
Firstly, regarding data,
we support the suggested amendments to Res. Conf. 12.6 (Rev. CoP15) in paragraph 26. However, we note that there is a reliance on the integrity of data provided to FAO, yet it is difficult to confirm the form of the data (for example live weight, dressed weight) that is being provided to FAO and whether it is consistent with the FAO requirements for data provision.
For this reason we would like to propose an addition to the suggested text of operative paragraph 6 of the Resolution as provided in paragraph 26 of CoP16 Doc. 61 (Rev. 1). It would read “, and to report these data to the relevant national, regional and international authorities [NEW TEXT SUGGESTED BY SSG] with the information provided to FAO being accompanied by details on the form of the data (for example live weight, dressed weight). Furthermore FAO are encouraged to make that information publically available;”
Secondly, regarding freshwater stingrays, we support the comments by Colombia and Australia.