Sharks and manta rays are some of our oceans most iconic animals, but their populations are in decline due to overfishing and unsustainable trade. At an important two-week meeting in Bangkok, March 3 to 14, 177 countries will have a chance to protect globally threatened shark and manta ray species.
At the meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), The Pew Charitable Trusts hopes that governments choose to vote to protect five species of sharks and two species of manta rays through Appendix II. A positive result will limit international trade of shark fins and meat and manta gill plates, thus helping to reduce the threat of overfishing facing these species.
For nearly 40 years, CITES has shielded thousands of plants and animals from overexploitation through international trade. This treaty is considered one of the best-enforced international conservation agreements.