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Goal: 75,000 Progress: 24,336
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

Feb 19, 2018 Jill Ardemagni
Feb 19, 2018 Fe Camila Azupardo
Feb 19, 2018 Françoise SEGAIN
Feb 18, 2018 eliane peltier
Feb 18, 2018 Chantal Sainthuile
Feb 18, 2018 Sae Magata
Feb 18, 2018 Andréa Branco
Feb 18, 2018 Jamie O'Brien
Feb 18, 2018 Claude Mattel
Feb 18, 2018 Stoudmann Stoudmann
Feb 18, 2018 antonella di giorgio
Feb 18, 2018 Wiebke Lagerström
Feb 18, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 18, 2018 ANDREA MOORE
Feb 18, 2018 Deb Clarke
Feb 18, 2018 Elvira Höll
Feb 17, 2018 Paula Andrea Melo
Feb 17, 2018 Kerstin Völker
Feb 17, 2018 Michael Arkadiou
Feb 17, 2018 Babak Sadegh-Zadeh
Feb 17, 2018 Lynda Evans
Feb 17, 2018 Elva Sandoval
Feb 17, 2018 Kate Gualtieri
Feb 16, 2018 Eva Tervala
Feb 16, 2018 Susanne Kramer-Druzycka
Feb 16, 2018 Danielle Pirotte
Feb 16, 2018 Danielle Dyer
Feb 16, 2018 Tanja Lepikko
Feb 16, 2018 Brinezza Gutierrez
Feb 16, 2018 Silvana Isaac
Feb 16, 2018 Jacqueline Schmidt
Feb 16, 2018 Nancy Ardis
Feb 16, 2018 Marion Brannaschk
Feb 16, 2018 Monika Freiling
Feb 16, 2018 Paul Gilbert
Feb 15, 2018 Lim So jung
Feb 15, 2018 Kate Jensen
Feb 15, 2018 Nadsanan Watcharakan You humankind you all are now try omg to destroy your home place as s planet earth by yourselves Stop it before it’s too more late
Feb 15, 2018 Adele Reynolds
Feb 15, 2018 Sarah Eastwood
Feb 15, 2018 Venessa Lalbeharry
Feb 15, 2018 Danny Chan Mankind shares this planet with literally millions of other animal species but we don't have dominion over any of them. Leave the sharks in peace. Thank you.
Feb 15, 2018 Cristina Dias
Feb 15, 2018 Gabriele Maria Schoffen Borges
Feb 15, 2018 Jusandra Passos Tudo que vive merece respeito.....
Feb 15, 2018 connie bennington Sick bastard
Feb 15, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 15, 2018 Elena Samoylova
Feb 15, 2018 phillippa braithwaite

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