CITES: Great white gets green light
"Evidence shows that populations of great white shark are declining, and the current levels of trade are a problem for this naturally rare species," said Dr Susan Lieberman, Head of WWF's delegation at CITES. "Although the main source of mortality seems to be incidental killing in fishing nets, effective trade controls could help to avoid continued depletion. It is all the more important as the great white shark is a migratory species and, as such, needs to be protected throughout its range. Today's decision gives the green light to such measures."
Great white sharks are fished for their jaws and teeth – sold as tourist curios – as well as for their fins, used for shark fin soup. They are also targeted by some sport anglers as trophies.
The high value of these products on the market provides an incentive for fishers to actively target great white sharks or to kill those that are accidentally caught, and could otherwise be released alive.
According to WWF, the listing of the great white shark on CITES Appendix II will reduce such an incentive. It will also support those countries that have already protected the species due to conservation concern.
WWF also urges all range States to take action for the conservation of the species, and to address other threats – such as bycatch – as well.
For further information:
Olivier van Bogaert,
WWF International's Press Office,
Bangkok tel.: +66 408 923 44,
WWF Species Programme,
Bangkok tel.: +66 656 37753,