The Japan funded project “CITES and Commercially-exploited Aquatic Species, Including the Evaluation of Listing Proposals” (GCP/INT/987/JPN) makes a valuable contribution to FAO’s efforts to ensure CITES provisions are applied appropriately and responsibly to commercially-exploited aquatic species. The project will last 5 years (2005 - 2010) and its activities include the following:
- provide financial support to the ad hoc Expert Advisory Panel for the Assessment of Listing Proposals to CITES for Commercially-Exploited Aquatic Species which, in March 2007, considered listing proposals of aquatic species submitted to the CITES 14th Conference of the Parties meeting;
- provide assistance to member countries and regions to improve their ability to implement CITES regulations for commercially-exploited aquatic species that have been listed in CITES Appendices. Capacity building activities have been initiated in the wider Caribbean region for queen conch fishing nations and in Southeast Asia for countries exploiting the Napoleon wrasse;
- improve knowledge of commercially-exploited sea cucumber species, including a global review of the status of sea cucumber stocks, the production of guides to facilitate the identification of sea cucumber species and products in trade, and the development of guidelines for the conservation and sustainable use of sea cucumbers;
- increase understanding of the biological status and trade dynamics of shark species considered most threatened by international trade, and evaluate potential measures to improve shark fisheries monitoring and management. Such activities are ongoing and the results will be shared during an expert workshop;
- provide information and technical advice to FAO members on listing proposals, implementation matters and legal issues concerning commercially-exploited aquatic species covered by CITES.