World leaders deliver big wins for sharks, mantas and devil rays at CMS CoP 11

World leaders deliver big wins for sharks, mantas and devil rays at CMS CoP 11
Friday, 7 November, 2014
Quito, Ecuador

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is thrilled to announce that sharks, mantas and devil rays will receive increased protections during the 11th Conference of the Parties (CoP 11) of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) held in Quito, Ecuador.

“A consensus among more than 50 countries, signatories to CMS, was achieved which now all but guarantees Appendix I and II listings to be announced on Sunday for sharks and rays,” said Dr. Ralf Sonntag, Marine Biologist and Director for IFAW Germany. “These listings will give sharks a fighting chance against the devastation that shark finning, overfishing, and other threats are having around the world.”

With more than 100 million sharks caught each year, some species are estimated to have declined by as much as 80 per cent in the past decade.

In what has been dubbed as the ‘Shark CoP’, a record number of proposals were submitted to CMS for listing which included 21 species of migratory shark and ray species.

Hammerhead, thresher and silky sharks were among those to receive consensus or strong majority support for Appendix II listings at the floor of the Conference of the Whole at the summit. Full protection on Appendix I was reached for mantas, devil rays and sawfishes.

“IFAW and many of our fellow organizations represented here in Ecuador, hope that the adoption of these endangered species into CMS will ultimately turn the tide and arrest the precipitous decline in their populations,” said Peter Pueschel, IFAW Director for Environmental Agreements. “We are now, as ever, ready to assist CMS with the implementation of these new efforts to conserve wild migrating animals.”

Appendix I listings are for the most endangered of species and aims to protect animals, conserve or restore their habitat, mitigate obstacles to migration and control other factors that might endanger them.  Migratory species that need or would significantly benefit from international co-operation are listed in Appendix II of the Convention. For this reason, the Convention encourages the Range States to conclude global or regional agreements.

About IFAW

Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Photos are available at

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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
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