Sharks and manta rays are critical to the health of the ocean, but their populations are in decline due to international trade. In March, countries will have a chance to protect vulnerable shark and manta ray species at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Delegates should vote to regulate the international trade in porbeagle, oceanic whitetip and hammerhead sharks (scalloped, great, and smooth) and manta rays by adding them to Appendix II of CITES. CITES is widely recognized as one of the most effective and best-enforced international conservation agreements. http://www.pewenvironment.org/CITES.