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Costa Rica seeks to include eight shark species on endangered list

March 12, 2010

The Costa Rican Environment, Energy and Telecommunications Ministry (MINAET) said that it will support a proposal to include eight different species of sharks in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

Their inclusion in the appendix would protect the sharks from commerce and control the removal of the animal from the sea.

Representatives from 175 countries will meet in Doha, Qatar from March 13 to 25 for the Fifteenth Conference of the Parties to vote on the on the inclusion of these eight species of sharks in the CITES convention. Attendees will also decide whether or not to add 41 other species of flora and fauna to various appendixes in the convention to guarantee their protection.

Among these 41 species are the North Atlantic red tuna and red coral. MINAET officials said the government institute will also back the inclusion of these two animals in Appendix II of CITES.

Appendix II is the second of three different categories of control in CITES. Appendix II allows for the “controlled trade” of any species that is included under its classification. Appendix I completely prohibits the trade of any plant or animal on its list.

MarViva, a Costa Rican marine conservation group, announced that they will vote for the inclusion of the North Atlantic red tuna in Appendix I of CITES.

In total, CITES guarantees some level of protection to nearly 41,000 species of flora and fauna.

The sharks MINAET officials hope to include on the list include three types of hammerhead sharks, the gray shark, the sand shark, the oceanic whitetip shark, the spiny dogfish shark, and the white sardine shark.

MINAET´s declaration of their support for including these animals in the CITES register come on the heels of the announcement that the ministry will spend $26,000 on a national campaign to help prevent illegal trafficking of flora and fauna. As part of the campaign, MINAET will buy new vigilance equipment and post public announcements at national parks and border crossings.

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