11:03 PM

Sharks and Mantas Gain Needed Protections Under CITES

New International Trade Regulations In Effect

WASHINGTON – Five species of sharks and two manta ray species will officially be listed today, as a result of the 2013 Conference of the Parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). During the last 18 months, countries from all regions have been preparing diligently to enforce the listings.

“We want to congratulate the countries around the world that have made tremendous efforts in preparing for the implementation of these shark and ray listings. The regulations provided by CITES are a critical lifeline for these highly imperiled species of sharks and mantas, which have been depleted due to bycatch and the international fin trade,” said Alejandra Goyenechea, senior international counsel for Defenders of Wildlife.  

These new regulations adopted by CITES will require certificates and permits to accompany international trade of these sharks and mantas and their parts and products for confirmation of legal harvesting and sustainable take. The new requirements will apply to the great hammerhead shark (Sphyrna mokarran), smooth hammerhead shark (Spyrna zygaena), scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini), the oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus) and manta rays (Manta spp.)  

“These are the only conservation measures that have been adopted for these severely threatened species of sharks and rays on a global level, something they desperately require,” said Rebecca Regnery, deputy director of wildlife for Humane Society International.


Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1.1 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @defendersnews.