a hundred countries vote to protect the mako shark

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Both species, blue mole and small porbeagle shark, are threatened by fishing.

The World with AFP Posted today at 14h24, updated at 14h39

Time to Reading 2 min.

A mako shark off Rhode Island (USA).
A mako shark off Rhode Island (USA). Matthew D Potenski / AP

A hundred countries voted Sunday, August 25 in favor of the regulation of international trade of makos sharks, very sought after for their flesh and their fins, at the CITES conference (Convention on International Trade in Fauna and Flora Species wild threatened with extinction).

Makos sharks, the fastest in the world, live in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, North Pacific and Indian Ocean. Their population has practically disappeared in the Mediterranean and has declined considerably elsewhere. There are two species: the shortfin mako shark and the small mole shark, which are the target of powerful fishing fleets.

It is Mexico that has proposed listing these sharks in Appendix II of the CITES Conference, which sets the rules for the international trade of more than 35,000 species of wild fauna and flora.

Lively debates

The proposal was hotly debated before being passed by 102 votes (40 against) in a secret ballot. "Fishing is the main threat to these sharks", noted the delegate of the European Union, who supported this measure, and who advocated "Much stronger management measures" than national attempts to reduce overfishing. On the other hand, countries opposed to this listing, such as Japan or China, argued that the scientific data are insufficient or do not demonstrate a decline in the species or that their trade is already managed by intergovernmental organizations. fishing.

Delegates representing more than 180 countries, gathered in Geneva for twelve days, also voted for the ranking of the family of guitar rays (Rhinobatidae) and Rhinidae family rays in Appendix II, making a total of 18 species of stingrays and sharks. These votes will have to be confirmed in plenary session by August 28, date of the closing of the Cites.

If this is the case, international trade in these species will not be totally banned but will be subject to an export permit or a re-export certificate provided that it does not affect their survival in the wild. Cites can impose sanctions on countries that do not respect these rules.

In March, a study by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) revealed that 17 species of stingrays and sharks out of the 58 most recently assessed were ranked at risk of extinction, with strong fears for sharks mako .

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