The twenty-fifth session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) (2003) established the Terms of Reference for an ad hoc expert advisory panel for assessment of listing proposals to CITES concerning commercially exploited aquatic species. The TOR defined the process and composition of a technical panel, which should be established by the FAO Secretariat in advance of each CoP, with the main task to assess proposals from a scientific perspective and in accordance with CITES biological listing criteria. The panel was also responsible for commenting on technical aspects of the proposals in relation to biology, ecology, trade and management issues.
First ad Hoc Expert Advisory Panel
The first ad hoc Advisory Panel, met in Rome, Italy, from 13 to 16 July 2004 to consider the following proposals submitted to the CITES Secretariat by Parties to CITES for decision at CoP13 (Bangkok, Thailand in October 2004):
- CoP13 Prop. 32 . Proposal to include Carcharodon carcharias (white shark) on CITES Appendix II, including an annotation that states that a zero annual export quota is established for this species.
- CoP13 Prop. 33 . Proposal to include Cheilinus undulatus (humphead wrasse) in Appendix II in accordance with Article II, paragraph 2(a) of the Convention.
- CoP13 Prop. 35 . Proposal to include Lithophaga lithophaga (Mediterranean date mussel) in Appendix II
- CoP13 Prop. 36 . Proposal for an amendment of the annotation for Helioporidae spp., Tubiporidae spp., Scleractinia spp., Milleporidae spp. and Stylasteridae spp.
The report of the Panel (full report in PDF ) was forwarded to the CITES Secretariat and made available to the Parties to CITES in accordance with Article XV of the CITES convention. The recommendations were noted and widely welcomed by CoP13 although they were not consistently adhered to in the final decisions, in which it was agreed to list white sharks (without the constraint of a zero quota), humphead wrasse and Mediterranean date mussel in Appendix II.
Second ad Hoc Expert Advisory Panel
Following the endorsement of the Twenty sixth Session of COFI, the 10th Session of COFI Sub-Committee on Fish Trade agreed that FAO should convene an ad hoc Expert Panel to assess listing proposals made to the CITES Conference of the Parties at CoP14 and for subsequent meetings of the CoPs. It was also agreed that the Sub Committee should evaluate after each CITES CoP whether the Panel recommendations had been taken into account and, if not, why they had not been.
The second ad hoc Advisory Panel (full report in PDF ) met in Rome, Italy, from 26 to 30 March 2007, hosted by FAO with funding from FAO Regular Programme and the Trust Fund Project "CITES and commercially exploited aquatic species". The Panel considered the following seven proposals submitted to the CITES fourteenth Conference of the Parties (The Hague, 3 - 15 June 2007):
- CoP14 Prop. 15 . Proposal to include Lamna nasus (porbeagle shark) on CITES Appendix II in accordance with Article II paragraph 2(a).
- CoP14 Prop. 16 . Proposal to include Squalus acanthias (spiny dogfish) on CITES Appendix II in accordance with Article II paragraph 2(a).
- CoP14 Prop. 17 . Proposal to include all species of the family Pristidae (sawfishes) in Appendix I of CITES in accordance with Article II paragraph 1
- CoP14 Prop. 18 . Proposal to include Anguilla anguilla (European eel) on Appendix II in accordance with Article II paragraph 2(a).
- CoP14 Prop. 19 . Proposal to include Pterapogon kauderni (Banggai cardinalfish) on Appendix II in accordance with Article II paragraph 2(a).
- CoP14 Prop. 20 . Proposal to include the species of Panulirus argus and P. laevicauda of the Brazilian lobster population on Appendix II of CITES, in accordance with Article II paragraphs2(a) and 2(b).
- CoP14 Prop. 21 . Proposal to include all species in the genus Corallium (red/pink corals) in Appendix II of CITES in accordance with Article II paragraph 2(a).
The Panel supported the inclusion of European eel (Anguilla anguilla) in Appendix II (controlled trade) and of all species of sawfishes (Pristidae) in Appendix I (no commercial trade allowed). It did not support the remaining five proposals to include species in Appendix II because, according to the Panel evaluation of the proposals, the species did not meet the biological criteria for listing specified in CITES Res. Conf. 9.24 (Rev. CoP14).
After considerable discussions during CoP14, decisions made by Parties on the proposals for listing commercially exploited aquatic species were all in line with the FAO ad doc Panel recommendations. Two proposals were accepted (European eel and Sawfishes) and five were rejected (spiny dogfish, porbeagle, red/pink corals) or withdrawn by proponents (cardinalfish and Brazilian lobster populations).