Six Solutions to Save Sharks

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Six Solutions to Save Sharks
Driven mainly by overfishing, their numbers are plummeting, and an alarming number of species are facing extinction.
Differentiating Shark Products
Reducing Shark “Bycatch”
Preventing Extinctions
Urgency, Urgency, Urgency
This lack of transparency would be unthinkable for most other highly traded products, including many other kinds of seafoods where traceability systems are increasingly commonplace.
CITES has recognized this is a major issue that needs to be addressed, and TRAFFIC is undertaking a project to develop a workable traceability system.
The sooner traceability is introduced for shark products traded under CITES and others, the sooner illegal shark products can be exposed and clamped down on.
Demand for shark and ray products has never been higher.
We need more seafood industry clout to encourage fisheries that take sharks to be sustainable, and a firm rejection of products from unknown, unsustainable, and dubious sources.
Markets worldwide must also reject trading in species that need complete protection — those that are already endangered and those with particularly low rates of reproduction.
In the not-distant future, these crude, unselective fishing methods have to be phased out by smarter, more selective gear.
Where this unselective gear remains in use, we need to find ways to reduce the catch of sharks while allowing other target species to be caught.
We need to create far more areas where these fishing methods are not allowed, particularly around critical habitats for threatened sharks.
CITES has to accelerate the development of sustainable fisheries for App. II species, as this is the only convention that virtually all shark-fishing countries are party to, and where compliance is mandatory.
We also need to see the regional organizations that manage tuna and shark fisheries on the high seas engage with CITES as a useful complementary approach to achieving sustainable fisheries and trade.