BfN Schriften 607 - Conservation, Fisheries, Trade and Management Status of CITES-Listed Sharks
The impact of fisheries supplying international trade has increased concerns about the conservation of these species of sharks and rays for over two decades. Meanwhile, 14 species of pelagic sharks and 27 rays are listed in the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendix II. Many of them are still recorded in fisheries and trade, including species prohibited in the pelagic fisheries and regulated by tuna Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (tRFMOs). The Federal Agency for Nature Conservation of Germany (BfN) has supported many of the CITES shark listings and has contributed to their implementation by capacity building measures and relevant workshops, such as the development of guidelines for making non-detriment findings (NDFs) for sharks. FAO Members and CITES Parties regularly urge closer engagement and coordination between bodies of environment and fisheries, in order to improve the status of sharks, while recognising shared common objectives for the recovery of depleted stocks, and achieving sustainable fisheries and trade.
The BfN has commissioned the present report, summarising the conservation, trade, and management status of sharks and rays, and outlining the activities of Regional Fisheries Bodies (RFBs – advisory and management) for the conservation and management of pelagic species. The report addresses both conservationists and fisheries authorities informing about the conservation status as well as existing conservation measures for all CITES listed shark and ray species. The conservation status of many CITES Appendix II-listed sharks is still deteriorating, including species that are major sources of shark fins in international trade, while the listed shark-like rays from shallow coastal habitats are among the world’s most threatened cartilaginous fishes. There are slight signs of recovery for only a few shark species, listed nearly 20 years ago. The report shows that fishing affects every CITES-listed shark species. It however also addresses the potential for sustainable use and trade under conservation measures by CITES and relevant Regional fishery bodies (RFBs) on a species-specific basis.