Trade Strategy | WWF
	© Edward Parker/WWF

Responsible Trade

While progress toward sustainable shark fisheries has been painfully slow at a national level, the CITES Appendix II listings for seven shark and ray species mean that exporting nations will have to demonstrate that exports will not affect the survival of these species in the wild, or cease trading them. The listings cover some of the most commercially valuable shark and ray species and will ideally motivate producing nations to accelerate fisheries improvements.

WWF and TRAFFIC will maintain oversight over the trade to ensure that credible and transparent sustainability assessments are undertaken, and that importing nations comply with CITES permit controls to prevent shark fin and meat and manta gill plates being imported illegally.


  • Members of all relevant regional fishery management organizations on the high seas contribute to improved shark and ray fishery management by implementing measures to ensure compliance with the provisions of CITES (as a minimum).

CITES CoP17 Update

In October 2016, CITES Parties added 13 species of devil ray, thresher shark, and silky shark to CITES Appendix II.

“This is a big win for all these species of sharks and rays as governments around the world will now have to act to ensure that trade is from sustainable and legal fisheries,” said Andy Cornish of the WWF. Earlier in the meeting, Parties agreed steps aimed at improving the traceability of shark and ray products, which is fundamental to CITES implementation. Countries’ interventions in the listings discussions reflected a growing recognition of the vital role CITES can play in shark and ray conservation by enhancing data, improving management, and ensuring sustainable international trade.

WWF and TRAFFIC partnered with the other organisations that make up the Global Shark and Ray Initiative, Project AWARE and other advocates to promote the marine ray and shark listings. 

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