Friday, 22 November 2013 – The CITES Secretariat launched today a Web section on sharks and manta rays to assist the 179 Parties to the Convention in putting in place effective measures to control international trade in the newly listed species.
Parties now have less than 10 months before they must start regulating international trade in the oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus), scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini), great hammerhead shark (Sphyrna mokarran), smooth hammerhead shark (Sphyrna zigaena), porbeagle shark (Lamna nasus) and manta rays (Manta spp.). The regulations will enter into force on 14 September 2014.
The new section can be accessed at www.cites.org/eng/prog/shark. It is currently available in English only, with the French and Spanish pages in preparation. This section will facilitate access to background information, with links to useful tools and materials, and lists of related meetings and events.
Commenting on the development of the new tool, the CITES Secretary-General, Mr John E. Scanlon, declared: “Gaining easy access to the best-available data and information from a single platform will help ensure the harmonious implementation of the shark and ray listings. We hope that this new tool will be valuable to CITES Parties and to everyone else who is supporting this critical effort.”
In response to a request made in Notification to the Parties No. 2013/023 of 10 June 2013 , the Secretariat has received information on capacity-building activities undertaken by Parties and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to help resolve technical and administrative issues related to these new listings, and this information is also summarized in the new section. Additional information will be posted on the shark and ray section as it becomes available.
The launch of the CITES Sharks and rays Web section was also announced by the CITES Secretariat during the 23rd Regular Meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), currently underway in Cape Town.
The CITES Secretariat welcomes inputs on the content and structure of the Sharks and rays Web section, so that it can be continuously improved to better serve Parties and stakeholders.