International Plan of Action for Conservation and Management of Sharks

Other relevant international instruments

In addition to the FAO IPOA-Sharks, other international agreements and instruments have been established to foster the conservation and sustainable use of sharks CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) has listed ten elasmobranchs on Appendix II and seven on Appendix I . While species listed under Appendix I can normally not be traded internationally (except by special permit for cultured specimen and for scientific purposes), species listed under Appendix II can still be internationally traded but require a certificate that the exported specimens were caught under sustainable conditions, a so-called “Non-Detriment Finding” (NDF). This provides important incentives for shark-exporting nations and RFMOs to develop sustainable management regimes for the listed sharks. FAO is collaborating with CITES by providing scientific and technical advice on species proposed for listing and by supporting impacted member States in the implementation of CITES provisions.

Migratory sharks have received attention from the CMS (Convention on Migratory Species) which has listed several species of sharks and rays in the Appendices I and II of the Convention. CMS has also established a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Conservation of Migratory Sharks, , a legally non-binding international instrument which encourages the signatories to implement shark conservation plans with the objective of improving the understanding of migratory shark populations, ensuring that directed and non-directed fisheries for sharks are sustainable, ensuring to the extent practicable the protection of critical habitats and migratory corridors and critical life stages of sharks, increasing public awareness of threats to sharks and their habitats, and enhance public participation in conservation activities and enhancing national, regional and international cooperation.