Action Taken!

Blog, Hammerhead ©Simon Pierce

The Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) conference that took place in Quito last week yielded a fantastic result for elasmobranch conservation. 

A total of 21 species of shark and ray were put forward for listing on CMS appendices, all of which were accepted. The five species of sawfish, nine species of Mobula (devil ray) and the reef manta were accepted onto both Appendix I & II, whilst two species of hammerhead, all three species of thresher and the silky shark were accepted onto Appendix II. This should grant all of these species with better protection globally.

At least eight of the species accepted for listing frequent the waters of the Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR). Whilst inside the GMR, sharks and rays have legal protection, but many species cross the 40 nautical mile boundary of this protected area into unprotected waters as part of larger scale migrations. This “clean sweep” for sharks and rays at the CMS conference should therefore grant species that are integral to the Galapagos marine ecosystem with better global protection. A fantastic result.

Ten other species were accepted onto the Convention’s two appendices including cuviers beaked whale and the polar bear. Read the official CMS Press Release here.

by Pete Haskell