Landmark conservation efforts went into effect for three species of sharks and all species of manta rays that start a long road to recovery for these decimated animal populations.
In March 2013, Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) added porbeagle and oceanic whitetip sharks, three species of hammerhead sharks (scalloped, great, and smooth), as well as all species of manta ray to CITES Appendix II. Appendix II-listed species can be traded, but only if the trade is legal and does not cause detriment to the species in the wild.
Under these new rules, international trade in sharks that are commercially exploited in large numbers, like the oceanic whitetip, will be regulated for the first time.
Implementing the regulations, of course, will be the major obstacle to truly protecting sharks, like the oceanic whitetip. However, this does reflect the crucial shift in thinking that is the first step towards true protection.
Oceanic Whitetip Shark
Interested in diving with this rare shark species? Click here to learn more about our oceanic whitetip shark diving expeditions.