Sharks Now Protected Under CMS

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  • Press: Shark Magazine
  • Date: Wednesday, 15 November 2017

The UN Wildlife Conference held in Manila identified sharks as endangered species and established conservation efforts to protect all species of sharks around the world. The endangered species acknowledged under the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) Act recognized sharks, leopards, lions and chimpanzees in the endangered category and resolved to provide protection to 34 species.

Bradnee Chambers claimed that these migratory species come across difficulties when swimming across waters of different countries; thus, they are vulnerable to lack of protection. This is because some countries may not have robust policies on wildlife protection. He further stated that “everybody has to pitch in” to protect migratory species.

Scientists and experts at IUCN have identified 24% of shark species as threatened. That makes up 10 species of sharks that are critically endangered, according to the IUCN Red List. Even though all species of sharks are at risk of extinction, the species acknowledged by IUCN specialists stand the highest risk of extinction in the near future.

The most endangered shark species were found in California, Mediterranean Sea, Chinese Seas, Australia and Atlantic Oceans. The study proved that the greatest dangers facing sharks include: fin trade, shark control, pollution, climate change, loss of habitat and exploitation. These endangered species can be commonly found in the coastal waters of Pacific and India. For instance, over 70 species of shark fin are being traded in Hong Kong. Most of these sharks are found in waters less than 200 meters deep.

The species that were relatively larger face the greatest threat of extinction. Over 125 countries have now joined the pact to develop stringent policies for shark conservation. The conservation act also added whale sharks to the appendix. Countries would now be better equipped to protect sharks in coastal waters that are preferred hunting sites, including Peru and Madagascar.

Matt Collis stated that countries should participate in the conservation act. The migratory sharks face the most threat because they are easily hunted in different countries. Over 20 million blue sharks are hunted around the world every year. It was further reported that if their numbers decline at this rate, they would become genetically similar and a single disease would be enough to blot out the remaining population.

The CMS also underlined that sharks are largely misunderstood creatures and may in fact prefer to feast on meatier creatures rather than humans, since human bones make it hard for sharks to chew. Whale sharks are the most hunted species around the world; however, Collis claimed that they are relatively gentle creatures.

The countries would now be required to work in collaboration to protect sharks around the world. Even though 126 countries have signed up to protect sharks, several Asian countries, including China, have not participated to protect endangered species. Even though human beings are attacked by sharks in large numbers annually, sharks happen to be more threatened by human activities. The pact is a positive sign; however, several countries still need to jump on-board to preserve biodiversity.      

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