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Goal: 75,000 Progress: 24,526
Sponsored by: The Rainforest Site

Shark finning is an atrocious act that, despite a recent dip in popularity, continues to threaten dozens of species of endangered sharks in the name of shark fin soup — a traditionally aristocratic delicacy that has a newfound niche in China's emerging middle class. Fishermen, responding to demand, catch the sharks, cut off their fins, and toss the less valuable "meat" (that is, the still-living creature they just mutilated) back into the water, where the shark will subsequently die from blood loss or suffocation.

This outmoded tradition began as a way for the wealthy to show superiority over the apex predators of the ocean, and to impress their guests with barbaric prowess. Today, the slaughter continues in excess, despite humans' clear predatory superiority. Twenty-five percent of known shark species are now on the verge of extinction, which has interrupted the balance of countless oceanic ecosystems, and has had huge economic impacts.

Sharks play an important role in the maintenance of their habitats. When their numbers drop — as they have been, due to exploitation and slow recovery rates — a ripple effect can disrupt the populations of their prey, and their prey's prey, ultimately costing fisheries and the larger community a lot more than the few hundred dollars per shark market price. Incidentally, shark meat has virtually no taste, and may contain dangerous levels of mercury, making it unsafe to eat.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) treaty has been fighting to preserve sharks for decades, yet only offers protections for eight shark species — a mere fraction of those that are threatened with extinction from finning. Sign the petition asking CITES Secretary-General to ramp up efforts, and to expand the protective scope of CITES to include all threatened, vulnerable, endangered, and critically endangered sharks.

Sign Here

To the Secretary-General of CITES,

First, I would like to thank you for the work you do to protect sharks and other chondrichthyans from exploitation and illegal fishing. The CITES shark and manta ray conservation program has no doubt had a significant impact on countless marine ecosystems, and is an essential complement to regionally specific protection measures.

However, despite regulations and conservation efforts, shark finning continues to drive down populations for threatened and endangered sharks. A recent report from the IUCN Shark Specialist Group found that, due to exploitation and slow recovery rates, about one in four known species of sharks is either threatened, vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered — about 100 more species than you currently list for protection.

In March 2013, you added four shark species to the CITES Appendices — an important step to providing safeguards for the sharks that need them the most. You will recall, though, that protection measures were delayed for eighteen months to allow sufficient time for Parties to prepare for implementation. That's a nearly two-year wait to add protections for four species — meanwhile, one new species of shark is described every two or three weeks. For reproductively sluggish shark species, eighteen months could mean the difference between survival and untimely extinction.

That is why I would like to urge you to take action to immediately extend protections to all threatened, vulnerable, endangered, and critically endangered sharks.

CITES is the global authority on shark species protections, and an aggressive expansion of its conservation measures could have the cogency to resolve the current shark population crisis. With your help, we may be able to save these apex predators, and ultimately the entire oceanic ecosystem, before it's too late.

Thank you.

Petition Signatures

Jul 17, 2018 Ianto Anglesey
Jul 14, 2018 Ben Gavel
Jul 11, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jul 8, 2018 james roon it is time we rose to our full potential as people. we need to live smarter . start fixing instead of destroying.
Jul 8, 2018 Myra Pena
Jul 8, 2018 Karin Shaw
Jul 8, 2018 jennifer Simmons STOP THIS AND ALL EVIL against every living person and thing! Right now we are discussing sharks! PUT a stop to this EVIL atrocity RIGHT NOW, thank you and God Bless if you do this, and if you dont help them, may you burn in hell!
Jul 8, 2018 Alan Zimmermann
Jul 6, 2018 Lynne Minore
Jul 5, 2018 Etelvina D. Serrano Martínez
Jul 5, 2018 Harold And Mortensen
Jul 5, 2018 Jean Anderson DeVito
Jul 3, 2018 Francoise Vulpe
Jun 30, 2018 Ellen Prior
Jun 29, 2018 christine Henri
Jun 29, 2018 Ramona Blankinship
Jun 29, 2018 David DeWitt
Jun 28, 2018 Vicky Chan
Jun 27, 2018 Jacklyn Yancy
Jun 26, 2018 Becky Tank
Jun 24, 2018 Marc Ochs
Jun 17, 2018 Debbie Barabe
Jun 17, 2018 Cynthia Ballard
Jun 17, 2018 Lisa Davidson Don't do this.
Jun 14, 2018 Rick Hodorowich
Jun 8, 2018 mona boggio
Jun 8, 2018 Svetlana Babies
Jun 8, 2018 Jean McDermott
Jun 8, 2018 Karen Statkiewicz #SAVEOURPLANET
Jun 4, 2018 Raphaël PONCE
May 29, 2018 Wendy Dalton
May 29, 2018 Janice Federico
May 25, 2018 Robin Riley
May 25, 2018 Nicole Goberdhan
May 25, 2018 Audrey Morgan
May 25, 2018 bruce hall
May 24, 2018 Geraldo Majela Elias de Abreu Pereira
May 24, 2018 Laura Haworth
May 23, 2018 alan harper
May 23, 2018 (Name not displayed)
May 23, 2018 Barb Breese
May 22, 2018 Peter Fell
May 22, 2018 Gerald Ryan
May 22, 2018 Rachel Bose
May 22, 2018 Jasmyn Gray The disrespect to animals is utterly vulgar. It needs to change.
May 22, 2018 Corinna Jost
May 21, 2018 Tina Collins
May 21, 2018 Ute Kummer
May 21, 2018 Wanda Anthony

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