The eighth session of the Working Group on Fisheries Management (WGFM) of the Regional Commission for Fisheries (RECOFI) was held in Cairo, Egypt from 8 to 10 December 2014. RECOFI has eight Member States (Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates) of which three attended the meeting. All RECOFI Member States have adhered to CITES.
The RECOFI Secretariat prepared document RECOFI:WGFM8/2014/7, providing information on the entry into effect of new listing of sharks and manta rays in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), including the requirements arising from the implementation of these new listings. The CITES Secretariat’s interventions involved a power point presentation, and the interdiction to document RECOFI:WGFM8/2014/7. The RECOFI Secretariat invited the WGFC to: comment on data collection of CITES-listed sharks species and the need to include them in the minimum data reporting scheme; comment and advise on shark management measures relevant to CITES-listed sharks and the possible extension of existing IOTC regulations for these shark species to RECOFI Members; discuss the collaboration with the CITES Secretariat and advise about the potential role of RECOFI in the implementation of CITES requirements; and advise the Commission on any action or recommendation to consider for adoption.
The CITES Secretariat added that RECOFI might act as a regional Scientific Authority and establish regional non-detrimental findings (NDFs) for international trade in CITES listed marine species, including certain sharks. RECOFI could also contribute to regional capacity building for the management of CITES-listed marine species, assist with fostering communication amongst CITES and fisheries authorities in the region, encourage regional data collection of catches and trade for the species listed in CITES, and promote the harmonization of RFMO shark management measures, eg. between RECOFI and IOTC.