Talks to Address Trade in Tuna and Ivory

Publication: The New York Times

Author: Neil MacFarquhar

03/11/2010 - Marathon negotiations on protecting the planet’s endangered species open on Saturday in Qatar with tensions bubbling over efforts to ban trade in bluefin tuna and to reopen exports of elephant ivory from Africa.

About 40 proposals are on the agenda for the 12-day meeting of the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which could help determine the fate of species from rhinoceroses to polar bears, from hammerhead sharks to red coral.

A pronounced focus on marine creatures is evident in this year’s proposals, reflecting a growing awareness of the decimation of the seas, negotiators and conservation experts say.

“As you are seeing the impact of industrial fishing for the past 50 or 60 years, marine species have finally started to get some attention,” said Matthew Rand, the director of global shark conservation for The Pew Charitable Trusts.

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