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International Conservation Movement Calls on Chile & Peru to Protect Silky Sharks
by Joanna Nasar
Friday Nov 7th, 2014 5:42 PM
This year a record number of threatened shark species will be granted greater international protections at the United Nation's 11th Meeting of the Conference of Parties, but silky sharks (Carcharhinus falciformis) could be left out of this historic global movement if Chile and Peru continue to oppose their protection.
For Immediate Release
Photo of Silky Shark Available*

Quito, Ecuador (Nov. 7, 2014) – This year a record number of threatened shark species will be granted greater international protections at the United Nation’s 11th Meeting of the Conference of Parties, but silky sharks (Carcharhinus falciformis) could be left out of this historic global movement if Chile and Peru continue to oppose their protection.[1]

Turtle Island Restoration Network is attending the Conference, which brings together hundreds of nations, nonprofits, and experts to discuss conservation of migrating species, to advocate for silky shark and other migrating animals. The conference held in Quito, Ecuador comes to a close this weekend.

On Sunday, Nov. 9th, delegates from nations around the world will vote to decide if silky sharks should receive international protections and be listed in the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) Appendix II.

“Silky sharks are one of the most decimated sharks species on the planet due to longline and purse seines fisheries capturing them as bycatch,” said Todd Steiner, Executive Director of Turtle Island Restoration Network. “They are in dire need of international protection. We sincerely hope that Chile and Peru will reconsider their position, and cast a vote that ensures the future of these inquisitive sharks.”

Appendices carry certain obligations for CMS member countries. Appendix I requires that parties enforce strict protections, such as bans on takes. An Appendix II listing commits countries to coordinate trans-boundary conservation measures throughout the species’ range.

All shark species proposals will be officially incorporated into the CMS’s Appendix II on November 9, 2014, the final day of the Conference.

ABOUT SILKY SHARKS:

Silky sharks are targeted for their valuable fins, and caught as bycatch by longline and purse seines fisheries for swordfish and tuna. It is estimated that a half to one half million of their fins are traded each year. These threats have led to a rapid decline of silky shark populations (70-90 percent declines have been recorded by researchers).[2]

Now, silky sharks are on The IUCN Red List as ‘Near Threatened’ globally. They are listed as ‘Vulnerable in the eastern-central and south-eastern Pacific Ocean, in the north-western and western-central Atlantic Ocean, and ‘Near Threatened’ in the south-western Atlantic, and Indian Ocean and western-central Pacific.

*Photos of silky sharks for media use are available here. Photo credit to Turtle Island Restoration Network. SeaTurtles.Org.
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