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Goal: 75,000 Progress: 24,121
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

Dec 13, 2017 Mr and Mrs Richard N. Huff
Nov 30, 2017 Maria Bradley
Nov 21, 2017 Gerri Petersen
Nov 20, 2017 (Name not displayed) I'm against animal cruelty, abuse, neglect, & extinction.
Nov 19, 2017 Elise McCoubrie
Nov 19, 2017 Stacey Govito
Nov 19, 2017 Pamela Babcock
Nov 18, 2017 sarah weisberg
Nov 18, 2017 Judi Kaleh
Nov 18, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 13, 2017 Joann Smith
Nov 12, 2017 Heidi Ansell
Nov 12, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 11, 2017 Susan Lanes
Nov 10, 2017 Sandy Lynch
Nov 10, 2017 Judy Spielmacher
Nov 10, 2017 tami mccready
Nov 10, 2017 Annam Fisher
Nov 9, 2017 Ekta Singh
Nov 8, 2017 Elisabeth Carroll
Nov 6, 2017 Jomarie Minton
Nov 3, 2017 Jodi Ford
Nov 2, 2017 Sandra Schomberg
Nov 2, 2017 veronique Charvet
Nov 1, 2017 Carolyn De Mirjian
Nov 1, 2017 Kandy Chewning
Oct 29, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Oct 29, 2017 John and Robbie Wertin
Oct 29, 2017 cindy takaht
Oct 29, 2017 Deborah Moore
Oct 27, 2017 Ketmany Saycocie
Oct 26, 2017 Gina Arens
Oct 26, 2017 Karen Schnitzer
Oct 26, 2017 Krystal Burroughs
Oct 25, 2017 keely gleason
Oct 25, 2017 Stacey Cannon
Oct 25, 2017 Helen Torosian
Oct 25, 2017 Fiona Forrest
Oct 23, 2017 Cathy Dennler
Oct 23, 2017 PJ CHARTRAND
Oct 22, 2017 Lori Santos
Oct 22, 2017 Christine Zens
Oct 21, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Oct 20, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Oct 19, 2017 Donna Lawson Stop this cruelty now.
Oct 19, 2017 Jackie Dunion
Oct 18, 2017 (Name not displayed) Decimating a population for an ingredient in a soup that is tasteless and has no nutritional value what so ever is barbaric and uncalled for.THIS MUST STOP!
Oct 17, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Oct 17, 2017 janine pol
Oct 16, 2017 (Name not displayed)

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