Conserving endangered species of sharks at international convention

Recently, at the 2nd meeting of the signatories (MOS2) to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) - Sharks Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in San Jose, Costa Rica, we increased conservation commitments for additional shark species.

One of the most important decisions taken by the signatories (By consensus) was the listing of 22 sharks and ray species onto Appendix (1) of the MoU. They include:

  • 5 species of Sawfishes,
  • Reef Manta Ray,
  • Giant Manta Ray,
  • 9 species of Mobula Ray,
  • Silky Shark, Great Hammerhead Shark,
  • Scalloped Hammerhead Shark, and
  • 3 species of Thresher Shark

The identification guide was the focus of attention of many specialists and delegations.At the second day of the meeting the Costa Rican President, Luis Guillermo Solís, visited the meeting and delivered a speech in the morning session. He called for, inter alia, balancing the interests of fishing communities with conservation, and drafting policies based on reliable data.

We also welcomed a new signatory: Portugal became the fortieth member to sign the Sharks MOU.

The Secretariat thanked IFAW during the plenary session on the first day, and praised the work undertaken including the fruitful cooperation between IFAW and the Secretariat. The Australian delegation also thanked IFAW for its outstanding activities and effort to support the implementation of the Shark MOU.

Delegation of Senegal (Right) and Comoros (left) carrying a copies of the IFAW – CMS – ELASMOPROJECT PosterIn cooperation with the CMS Secretariat, Shark-MOU Secretariat, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment in the UAE and the Gulf ELASMOPROJECT, IFAW undertook a side event called Shark Conservation Actions in the Middle East: The Latest Initiatives from the UAE. This event showcased some of the shark conservation actions that have been ongoing in the Middle East and North Africa region and other places around the world by IFAW and its partners over the last decade in the following fields:

  • Capacity Building.
  • Advocating and lobbying
  • Awareness campaigns.
  • Scientific and research publication (shark identification guide in the Arabian Seas).     

Akram Eissa Darwich, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) signing on the Cooperating Partner Document IFAW officially became Cooperating Partner to the Sharks MOU and committed to enhancing the efforts of the Secretariat and SIGs to achieve the items of the adopted Programme of Work for 2016 -2018.

The meeting achieved all of its objectives and tasks tried to fully complete all suggested amendments and to adopt all documents including an ambitious programme of works for the next triennium (2016-2018).

The signatories agreed to work intersessionally and reevaluate the matter at MOS3 as appropriate.


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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Beth Allgood, Country Director, United States
Country Director, United States
Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Senior Advisor, Policy Development
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
Senior Vice President
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Jason Bell, Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
Jimmiel Mandima at IFAW
Deputy Vice President of Conservation
Executive Vice President
Executive Vice President
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
Director, International Policy
Patrick Ramage, Program Director, Whales
Program Director, Marine Conservation
Rikkert Reijnen, Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Program Director, Wildlife Crime