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18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
Treaty parties learn of 40 proposed wildlife trade rule changes
Gland, Switzerland - Proposals for tighter trade controls for species such as the Atlantic Blue Fin tuna, sharks and corals have been submitted for the next meeting of parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES).
The meeting, which will have changes to trade rules for an unusual proportion of marine species on its agenda, will be held in Quatar in March. Controversy is also expected over conflicting proposals concerning elephants.
WWF especially welcomes the proposal by the Principality of Monaco to list Atlantic bluefin tuna on Appendix I to the convention, which would ban international trade for commercial purposes and was submitted as Atlantic bluefin tuna stocks are declining dramatically because of uncontrolled overfishing.
“An Appendix I listing for Atlantic Bluefin Tuna has become imperative if we are to save the species,” said Amanda Nickson, Director of the WWF International Species Programme.
“If we act now we can secure the future of this species and guarantee that fishing can be resumed in the future, but at a sustainable level.”
WWF was also encouraged to see that proposals to list several shark species on Appendix II, which allows for international trade but imposes strict regulations and requires proof that trade is sustainable and legal, were submitted. Threats such as bycatch and shark finning and illegal fishing and overfishing have caused serious declines in shark populations.
Also proposed for an Appendix II listing were red and pink coral, which are used to make jewellery. Red and pink corals are found throughout the world’s tropical and temperate seas but the absence of effective international trade controls has led to overharvesting.
“WWF looks forward to the CITES meeting,” said Ms Nickson. “There has never been a meeting where marine animals featured so prominently. Now is an opportunity to show that CITES has the capacity to address the pressing issues concerning the trade in these species.”
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