Thursday, 21 April 2011

Help Give Sharks A Fighting Chance - Sign the Petition

Shark populations are devastated by overexploitation, including targeted fishing, bycatch and finning. Join thousands of AWARE divers and shark advocates who are serious about shark protection. Support the goal to reach 100,000 petition signatures from around the world by June 8th, World Ocean Day. Sign the petition and urge your friends and colleagues to do the same.

Together, we’re gaining the attention of policymakers worldwide. We’re closing loopholes in existing global shark management policies and insisting on full protections for Endangered and Critically Endangered sharks.

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Yes, I'm appalled at the failure of the world's environment leaders at CITES 2010 in Qatar to approve trade protections for some of the Earth's most vulnerable and heavily traded shark species.

Each year, tens of millions of sharks are killed by Earth's most dangerous predators - humans. Too many of them fall victim to the cruel and wasteful practice of shark finning - the act of removing shark fins and discarding the often still alive shark overboard. As Asian demand for fins remains strong, markets for shark meat are growing, helping to push shark species to the brink.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) analyses, all shark species proposed at the meeting met the criteria for listing under CITES Appendix II. Such listing requires that trade is controlled in order to avoid use that threatens the species' survival. Despite the depletion of sharks worldwide, restrictions on international trade are in place for only three shark species - whale shark, great white shark and basking shark.

I join with Project AWARE, divers and activists worldwide, calling on CITES Parties, between now and the next CITES Conference, to:

  • Heed all available scientific advice for limiting shark catches;
  • Fully protect shark species listed as Endangered or Critically Endangered by the IUCN;
  • Set precautionary shark fishing limits [where no advice exists];
  • Ensure all sharks are landed with their fins naturally attached;
  • Work with other countries to prepare and promote shark listing proposals for the next CITES Conference; and
  • Improve shark trade data collection by taking national action to list all species proposed at CITES 2010 on Appendix III before the next CITES meeting in 2013.

We call on governments around the world to heed scientific advice to provide better protection for all sharks and their ocean ecosystem.

Help Give Sharks A Fighting Chance - Sign the Petition Here!

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