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Goal: 75,000 Progress: 24,400
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

Mar 19, 2018 JANET BURROWS
Mar 19, 2018 Nicole Hadjieva
Mar 19, 2018 Fred Fall
Mar 19, 2018 Terri Williams
Mar 18, 2018 Bonnie Cohen
Mar 18, 2018 Linda Bazilian
Mar 18, 2018 carri perani-welsh
Mar 18, 2018 Lisa Barrett
Mar 18, 2018 Katy Moyer Sharks are an integral part of the ocean ecosystem and deserve to be protected. Stop finning now.
Mar 18, 2018 Linda Kopf
Mar 18, 2018 Linda Stone
Mar 18, 2018 Tomas Greenisle
Mar 18, 2018 SIMONI Kapa
Mar 18, 2018 Rhoda Slanger
Mar 18, 2018 Patty Collett
Mar 18, 2018 hEATHER Knowles
Mar 16, 2018 Elise Levin
Mar 15, 2018 Lorri MacQueen
Mar 13, 2018 Helen Smylie
Mar 13, 2018 graziela dezanet
Mar 13, 2018 Beate Auburn
Mar 11, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 11, 2018 Edeltraut Renk
Mar 10, 2018 Albert Chou
Mar 10, 2018 Debra Lukoszyk
Mar 9, 2018 Mindy Schech
Mar 9, 2018 Sam Mcfadzean
Mar 8, 2018 Roxanne Leshine
Mar 7, 2018 Margaret Craig
Mar 7, 2018 Anne-Marie Henkes
Mar 6, 2018 Chansey Luby
Mar 5, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 5, 2018 rachel braun
Mar 1, 2018 Shellie Vann-Volk
Mar 1, 2018 Julia Gray
Mar 1, 2018 Shannon horton Humans are so cruel to nature and wildlife. I am in such shock.
Mar 1, 2018 Julie Berberi
Mar 1, 2018 dionne Toye
Mar 1, 2018 Sophia Lim
Mar 1, 2018 Amber Greenwood
Mar 1, 2018 Jill Nightingale
Mar 1, 2018 Irene Maligranda Bieg
Feb 28, 2018 annah jetha
Feb 26, 2018 Daniel Kaula
Feb 26, 2018 Ken Stein
Feb 26, 2018 Sally Wynn
Feb 25, 2018 jill phipps
Feb 24, 2018 Jennifer Formoso
Feb 24, 2018 Eloísa Ferreira

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