Victory for Manta Rays and Sharks at CITES
Author: Tara Haelle
Source: Scuba Diving Magazine
The ocean just got a lot safer for five species of sharks and two species of manta rays – good news for divers who enjoy diving with these creatures. On March 14 in Bangkok, Thailand, an international organization that regulates the trade of endangered species, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), placed new restrictions on the capture of five species of sharks, including oceanic white tips, porbeagles, great hammerheads, scalloped hammerheads and smooth hammerhead, as well as oceanic and reef manta rays and three species of freshwater stingrays.
The restrictions require anyone exporting these species to procure a permit showing they were fished legally and sustainably. Without a permit, fisherman can be subject to poaching penalties, and an importing country could be subject to sanctions. Countries with jurisdiction over the waters where the fish is caught or that are the fishing vessel’s home port can issue the permits.
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