Madam The European Deputy,
From next 3 to 14 March will be held in Bangkok the 16th Conference of the 177 countries members or parts of the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).
France has joined the international treaty in 1978. The objective of this treaty is to control the international trade of plants, animals and their products from sustainable and legal manner.
Our country currently holds the 12th place in terms of global shark catches with nearly 20,000 tonnes caught annually.
Fishing has significantly depleted populations of sharks and rays in the past 60 years. Indeed, among the species assessed by scientists of the International Union
for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), 30% are threatened or near threatened with extinction.
About 70-100 millions of sharks are killed each year to supply mainly the international trade of shark fins, base fin soup, ancestral dish appreciated by the Chinese.
Sharks reach sexual maturity late and reproduce slowly with little youngs for each gestation, which makes them extremely vulnerable to overfishing.
This overfishing by modern fleets with high yielding, illegal fishing and bycatch are causing a drastic reduction in shark populations worldwide, with protective measures currently too fragmented or totally fragmented.
The success of the conservation and management of sharks requires a wide range of measures used internationally because sharks are highly migratory predators, moving in different jurisdictions where the laws protecting them are either non-existent or insufficiently harmonized.
Sharks Mission France is an association dedicated to informing and educating the public about the urgently needed protection of sharks in our oceans and seas and strives to contribute to ensure sustainability in their natural environment.
We ask you, in your capacity as Member of European Representative of France to the Cites:
1. That France provides increased protection for sharks, and take measures apply
urgently to ban all trade, sale or export of sharks products .
2. To support and energetically favorable enrollment in Appendix II of three shark species proposed on the occasion of the 16th Conference of the Parties of CITES in March 2013:
– Hammerhead sharks,
-Oceanic whitetip sharks
and Mantas rays .
In fact, these species undergo a dramatic decrease in their populations.
For example, the oceanic sharks have seen their population decrease of 99% in the Gulf of Mexico in less than 4 generations. Similar studies in western North Atlantic and the Pacific lead to the same conclusions appalling.
3. Implement all actions and use all means for our country, France, a country become pro-active with strong proposals within the Cites and ensures maximum protection and sustainability of our sharks in seas and oceans, during the 16th Conference of the Parties of CITES and at future meetings . We are at your service, Madam The European Deputy to speak with you about this.
Pending the outcome, please accept, Madam The European Deputy insurance in our respectful greetings.
Mme Fabienne Rossier President of the association Sharks Mission France