(Brussels, Belgium - 23 June 2022) - Last week, the European Union (EU) formalised its position on the upcoming 19th session of Conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), including co-sponsorship of the most significant shark proposal in CITES history. The proposal put forth by Panama aims to bring the majority of the shark fin trade under sustainable trade limits for the first time.
IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) congratulates the EU on this milestone decision to co-sponsor Panama’s proposal and its continued global leadership in shark conservation. This decision by all 27 Member States to support Appendix II listing of the requiem shark family ensures the proposal will reach the floor with solid backing as 184 parties enter the room at CITES CoP19 in Panama City this November 2022.
The decision followed overwhelming support among national scientific and management authorities during EU coordination meetings over the past months. Last week, ministers of all Member States officially signed on to this historical decision. IFAW also welcomes the EU’s proposal to increase protection for small hammerhead sharks.
“Since 2013 several shark species have been listed on Appendix II, but still only 25% of the global fin trade is adequately managed. The EU has long been a champion for shark listings and a significant funder of implementation efforts to ensure these listings have been effective,” said Barbara Slee, EU Manager Marine conservation. “This decision cements the EU’s commitment to global shark conservation. IFAW is thrilled and ready to continue our support of implementation efforts after adoption this November.”
Spanish Member of the European Parliament César Luena (Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats), also serves as rapporteur on the CITES Resolution for CoP19 and the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030. He joins IFAW in welcoming the news:
"This EU decision to cosponsor Panama’s proposal listing all requiem sharks on CITES Appendix II is a clear message that all 27 Member States take marine conservation seriously,” said Luena. “When adopted, this listing will bring the majority of the global fin trade under the regulation of CITES. This is a critical step towards preventing the international trade of sharks driving species to extinction."
A March 2022 report by IFAW, "Supply and Demand: The EU’s Role in the Global Shark Trade," identified the EU as a large contributor to global shark trade. The report revealed that EU Member States were the source of 45% of shark fin-related products imported into trade hubs Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan in 2020. With this announcement, the EU is taking responsibility for its role as global catcher and trader and stepping up to manage the trade they have so significantly contributed to.
17 June was the CITES deadline for proposals and co-sponsorship, where the EU is now part of a coalition of global governments signed on to this proposal, with many more supporters likely to come.
m: +32 (0)472 17 15 81
About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)
IFAW is a global non-profit helping animals and people thrive together. We are experts and everyday people, working across seas, oceans and in more than 40 countries around the world. We rescue, rehabilitate and release animals, and we restore and protect their natural habitats. The problems we’re up against are urgent and complicated. To solve them, we match fresh thinking with bold action. We partner with local communities, governments, non-governmental organizations and businesses. Together, we pioneer new and innovative ways to help all species flourish. See how at ifaw.org
donate nowIFAW affiliates are registered as tax-exempt nonprofit organizations in several countries. Depending on where you reside, your donation may qualify for a tax deduction or benefit. See the pull-down menu at the bottom right of this page to see how IFAW operates in your country.
our work can’t get done without you. please give what you can to help animals thrive.