FAO, as part of a global collective effort, has contributed to ensuring that international trade in specimens of five shark species and all manta ray species, including their meat, gills and fins, will need to be accompanied by permits and certificates confirming that they have been harvested sustainably and legally.
New controls adopted by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), effective as of 14 September 2014, will apply to the oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus), scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini), great hammerhead shark (Sphyrna mokarran), smooth hammerhead shark (Sphyrna zygaena), porbeagle shark (Lamna nasus) and manta rays (Manta spp.) as they are now included in CITES Appendix II.
Árni M. Mathiesen, FAO’s Assistant Director-General of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department said: "FAO will continue its effort and work closely with CITES on immediate actions in support of the implementation of CITES listings of sharks and manta rays, including the provision of legal assistance for fishery legislation, support to the development and implementation of National Plans of Action for sharks and rays, and activities on traceability."
In 1999 FAO Members adopted the International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks. Since then, FAO has organized workshops and developed guidelines to help member countries in developing capacity and providing technical support in the effort to protect all shark and ray species. FAO is now continuing its effort and developing a shark fin guide which will enable automatic identification of shark fins through image recognition software.
Read press release
brochure on CITES listing of shark species