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Goal: 75,000 Progress: 23,445
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.

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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


Apr 26, 2017 Linda Kaiser This is a total waste of resources and cruel and inhumane to the shark. If you fish it for food, take and eat the majority of the shark. Use its skin for something, its teeth for something.
Apr 24, 2017 Paul Johnston
Apr 24, 2017 Sharifah Farah Debah Syed Mohanmad
Apr 23, 2017 wilfrid quevedo
Apr 21, 2017 Corrina Parker
Apr 20, 2017 Laura Wesley
Apr 18, 2017 Kelly Nestleroad
Apr 16, 2017 Lanette Norris
Apr 14, 2017 Jenni Slaven
Apr 14, 2017 Margaret Conti
Apr 12, 2017 Samira Wittmann
Apr 12, 2017 Rev Christie Bliss Ley The cruelty of this practice is beyond understanding. Must be stopped.
Apr 12, 2017 Karen Moulder
Apr 11, 2017 Cynthia Pearson
Apr 11, 2017 R Singh
Apr 10, 2017 Micah McVicker
Apr 9, 2017 Rachel Taberner
Apr 8, 2017 Anne-Marie Battaglia
Apr 7, 2017 Caterina Raviglione
Apr 7, 2017 Eleonora De Giorgio
Apr 6, 2017 Marian Hussenbux
Apr 6, 2017 Dawn Stephens
Apr 5, 2017 Susan Fisher
Apr 4, 2017 Evelyn Peterson
Apr 3, 2017 Jenice Minamide
Apr 3, 2017 Deborah Lill
Apr 3, 2017 Michalla Sutton
Apr 2, 2017 Jill Kuch
Apr 2, 2017 Donna Lenhart
Apr 2, 2017 Ken Mayor They have a right to exist and so do we. We don't have the right to do this to nature.
Apr 2, 2017 Locatelli Roberta
Apr 1, 2017 Tanja Gistl
Apr 1, 2017 Kara Walmsley
Mar 31, 2017 Tim Young
Mar 30, 2017 jude lotz
Mar 28, 2017 Jon waldrop
Mar 27, 2017 Dana Albanese
Mar 25, 2017 Kyriaki P
Mar 25, 2017 Simona Eastlake
Mar 25, 2017 Alice VanKoevering
Mar 25, 2017 linda farrar
Mar 25, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 25, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 25, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 25, 2017 jackie heaton
Mar 25, 2017 Eileen Duppstadt
Mar 23, 2017 Veronica Falcon
Mar 22, 2017 MIRELLA SANTI
Mar 20, 2017 Maria Kagelind
Mar 20, 2017 Fran Guterl

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