Historic Shark Protections Set to Begin

Countries around the world have been working together on an unprecedented scale to prepare for new landmark shark protections that go into effect Sunday, Sept. 14. Excitement about the potential impact of the new rules has been building around the globe among those concerned about the future of these predators so vital to a healthy ocean food web. 

Under these new rules, international trade in sharks that are commercially exploited in large numbers will be regulated for the first time. 

In March 2013, Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) added porbeagle, oceanic whitetip, and three hammerhead shark species—scalloped, great, and smooth—as well as all manta ray species, to what is known as CITES Appendix II. That means that CITES member governments must prove that trade in these sharks and manta rays is legal and sustainable before trade can continue. 

Learn more about the efforts that countries worldwide have undertaken to prepare for the deadline through an inspiring video and Web features that tell the story of the implementation of the new CITES listings. 

View the tools that governments are using to identify fins from the newly listed species and read the backstory on how the Appendix II listings came about. And don’t miss commentary from the crew over in "Sherman’s Lagoon" on the importance of the new listings. Comic strip characters such as Sherman and Fillmore might not qualify as international policy experts, but we appreciate it whenever they chime in.

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