A landmark vote was passed today at the CITES convention in Bangkok, Thailand. The hunting of manta rays, oceanic whitetip, porbeagle and smooth, great and scalloped hammerhead sharks will be strictly regulated after the proposal for listing them on the CITES appendix II was accepted.
Carlos Drews, head of WWF’s delegation at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) issued the following statement today in response to decisions from world governments to offer better protection for five species of sharks:
“This is a landmark moment showing that the world’s governments support sustainable fisheries and are concerned about the reckless over-exploitation of sharks for commercial use. Today’s decision will go a long way in slowing down the frenzied overfishing of sharks that is pushing them to the brink of collapse to feed the luxury goods market.”
“Regulating the trade of marine species like sharks, which are facing unprecedented commercial pressures, is key to saving them and ensuring our oceans contribute to food security by staying healthy and productive”.
This isn’t the first time that such proposals have been put to CITES, but with new support from West Africa and Latin America along with a promise of funds from European countries to assist in changing fishing practices, this time it has been successful.
The global populations of the enigmatic manta rays that we all know and love are being devastated. Their gill plates are used to make a tonic that the Chinese medicine market. Around 5,000 of these magnificent animals are killed every year, generating US$ 5m for the traders against the US$ 140m that tourism brings in from areas where they are protected. These figures must give us some hope, the animals are simply more valuable to the local communities alive.
How you can help:
That’s the simple part. The illegal hunting of sharks and manta’s has little benefit for the local communities, tourism does! It generates long term income and employment for local people, without them on board protection and enforcement of laws is nigh on impossible. By taking a diving holiday, you can directly contribute to the protection of these creatures and sharing your experiences with fellow tourists and divers helps spread the word. It’s an incredible experience diving with any of these magnificent animals, by doing it today you can ensure future generations will also have the opportunity.
Have a look at our scuba diving video gallery for footage manta rays and sharks.
You can dive with manta rays and sharks at many of our dive destinations including Komodo, Raja Ampat, the Great Barrier Reef, Fiji, the Maldives, Cocos Island, the Galapagos Islands, Thailand, Burma, the Red Sea and Belize.
Are you longing for some awesome manta ray or shark diving? Then contact Dive The World right away on +66 (0)83 505 7794 or send us an email.