Wildlife conference boosts safety for sharks, turtles

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PANAMA Metropolis (AP) — An intercontinental wildlife convention moved to enact some of the most major defense for shark species qualified in the fin trade and scores of turtles lizards and frogs whose figures are becoming decimated by the pet trade.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, known by its initials as CITES, finished Friday in Panama. Along with protections for over 500 species, delegates at the United Nations wildlife convention turned down a proposal to reopen the ivory trade, An ivory ban was enacted in 1989.

“Good news from CITES is good information for wildlife as this treaty is one particular of the pillars of intercontinental conservation, imperative at making certain international locations unite at combating the world interrelated crises of biodiversity collapse, local climate improve, and pandemics,” stated Susan Lieberman, the vice president of intercontinental policy at Wildlife Conservation Culture.

“Many of the proposals adopted right here reflect there is ongoing about-exploitation and unsustainable trade, and escalating illegal trade, and some are thanks to intricate interactions of other threats decreasing species populations in the wild, which include weather adjust, ailment, infrastructure growth, and habitat decline,” she additional.

The international wildlife trade treatywhich was adopted 49 yrs ago in Washington, DC, has been praised for helping stem the unlawful and unsustainable trade in ivory and rhino horns as nicely as in whales and sea turtles.

But it has appear less than hearth for its restrictions, including its reliance on funds-strapped producing international locations to beat illegal trade that’s grow to be a valuable $10 billion-a-calendar year small business.

One of the most significant achievements this 12 months was growing or providing security for far more than 90 shark species, which include 54 species of requiem sharks, the bonnethead shark, 3 species of hammerhead shark and 37 species of guitarfish. Several had in no way ahead of had trade protection and now, beneath Appendix II, the business trade will be regulated.

Worldwide shark populations are declining, with once-a-year fatalities because of to fisheries reaching about 100 million. The sharks are sought typically for their fins, which are utilized in shark fin soup, a preferred delicacy in China and somewhere else in Asia.

“These species are threatened by the unsustainable and unregulated fisheries that offer the international trade in their meat and fins, which has pushed in depth inhabitants declines,” Rebecca Regnery, senior director for wildlife at Humane Culture Intercontinental, explained in a assertion. “With Appendix II listing, CITES Get-togethers can enable trade only if it is not harmful to the survival of the species in the wild, providing these species the assistance they need to have to get well from around-exploitation.”

The convention also enacted protections for dozens of species of turtles, lizards and frogs together with glass frogs whose translucent skin made them a favorite in the pet trade. Numerous species of songbirds have also bought trade security.

“Already below huge ecological force resulting from habitat loss, climate adjust and illness, the unmanaged and escalating trade in glass frogs is exacerbating the by now present threats to the species,” Danielle Kessler, the US region director for the Global Fund for Animal Welfare, mentioned in a assertion. “This trade must be regulated and restricted to sustainable levels to avoid compounding the many threats they already confront.”

But some of the more controversial proposals were being not approved.

Some African countries and conservation groups had hoped to ban the trade in hippos. But it was opposed by the European Union, some African nations and quite a few conservation teams, who argue many international locations have healthful hippo populations and that trade is not a aspect in their drop.

“Globally cherished mammals these types of as rhinos, hippos, elephants and leopards did not obtain amplified protections at this assembly while a bunch of wonderful weirdos won conservation victories,” Tanya Sanerib, global authorized director at the Heart for Biological Diversity, explained in a assertion. . “In the midst of a heart-wrenching extinction disaster, we have to have world-wide arrangement to battle for all species, even when it truly is contentious.”

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