Fact Sheet

CITES 2013: Year of the Shark

porbeagle shark (Lamna nasus)

An Appendix II Listing regulates international trade in species that are overexploited, and may become threatened if their trade is not effectively regulated. It does not constitute a trade ban or affect use of a species within national jurisdiction. Domestic fishery management measures and decisions are unaffected under this listing. Appendix II allows international trade but gives depleted or overexploited species a chance to recover by permitting only sustainable and legal trade.

The Ecological and Economic Value of Sharks

Sharks are worth more alive than dead.

Tourism involving sharks, such as recreational diving or snorkeling with sharks, is typically more sustainable and often more lucrative than shark fishing and trade. For example, the estimated lifetime value of a live reef shark to the tourism industry in Palau is US$1.9 million, while the same reef shark is worth US$108 if caught and killed.

Ocean health depends on sharks.

Sharks help maintain balance in marine ecosystems. When their populations decline, unpredictable consequences in the ocean environment may result, including the possible collapse of commercially important fisheries.

CITES 2013