Wednesday, July 31, 2013

CITES - the hard Work starts now!

Top 20 ‘Rays, stingrays, mantas nei’ catchers, 2002-2011 (total capture, tonnes, FAO Fishstat). All countries reporting catches of ‘Giant manta’ (M. birostris) and ‘Mantas, devil rays nei’ are also included - click for detail!

 Any takers? :)
“There was great elation when these sharks and manta rays were listed in CITES this March, but although it was a significant moment for the conservation world, now comes the task of making these listings work in practice as time is running out for some of these species,” said Glenn Sant, TRAFFIC’s Marine Programme Leader.

“CITES listings do not take away the need for comprehensive fisheries management, they represent one critical part of that management through aiming to control trade and prevent international trade in products of these species being sourced from unsustainable or illegal fisheries.”

 “Key to implementing the CITES regulations will be the establishment of chain of custody measures to facilitate enforcement and verification that harvest is legal,” said TRAFFIC’s Research Officer, Victoria Mundy-Taylor, co-author of the new study.
You may want to reserve a good chunk of time to download and then read this remarkable document by Traffic, and big kudos to them for having done an extremely good job. It is as long and comprehensive as it is frustrating, and it illustrates the monumental challenge that is the implementation of the decisions taken this March.
And there are many surprises, like the unmasking of the Maldives as a major Shark fin exporting nation, page 5 which begs the question, how does that dovetail with the Shark sanctuary?
May this be yet another conservation scam like the PIPA?

But I'm digressing as always.
I was particularly interested in Part III, page 27ff.
Read it! It talks about the challenges of implementing the provisions, this especially in those developing nations whose resources are simply not adequate for performing those tasks.

But is that the only solution?
Why is it that everybody assumes that e.g. the Non-Detriment Findings must be financed out of public coffers and conducted by public officials, and not by those who make the money, ie the Shark exporters? Those findings are akin to ecological impact assessments - and those are usually paid for by the applicants and performed by independent contractors, not the authorities!
Is there any rational and legitimate, and for the matter, legal reason why this cannot be applied to Fisheries?

Please re-read this - and this!
Yes those paradigms need to be changed - especially now that the trade has become so big and so lucrative!


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