Our friends at the Sea Save Foundation are hard at work at CITES COP 19 in Panama City, Panama. Their efforts have paid off with the prospect of the trade in products from 113 marine species getting new protection. However, today and tomorrow are the plenary sessions, in which all the agreements reached over the proceeding 2 weeks are required to be ratified by the entire body.
The new species that will be potentially protected include 9 species of hammerhead sharks, 57 species of requiem sharks, 37 species of guitarfish, 3 species of sea cucumber, and 7 species of freshwater rays.
The CITES process allows for lobbying and “horse-trading” which inevitably means that poorer nations can be coerced or blackmailed into changing their support for measures that they actually support. This means that until the plenary session signs the protections, the results are not definite. We are fortunate that organizations like Sea Save are on the ground countering the attempts to hinder the establishment of these important protections.
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