PHILIPPINES VOTE YES FOR THRESHERS
YES FOR THRESHERS The Philippines is the only country that can boast to having an established pelagic thresher shark dive industry. Monad Shoal near Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan remains to be the only place in the world where scuba divers can see pelagic thresher sharks almost every day. The...
It’s CITES time you guys. This convention is the way the world regulates the international trade of endangered species. Historically, marine animals have been woefully underrepresented but the last meeting was pretty historic - more sharks and rays than ever before were voted to have international protection measures.
The way it works: Countries that have signed up to the convention send delegates to these meetings, who hear the case for protection of a species (like it’s declining population, stats about trade etc) and then they vote. If it gets listed under one of the appendices, all countries who are part of CITES are obligated to implement enforcement measures that prevent the trade of the species. An animal’s listing under CITES protection need a 2/3 majority from all the delegates.
Back in the day, the fact that species were declining due to trade was enough to get it listed. Nowadays, we have to weave through the political agenda and influence - think about why Blue Fin tuna isn’t listed, when clearly it’s trade that is a major threat. It’s lobbying to countries with no vested interest in tuna to vote against it’s listing by countries that are reaping economic benefits from it’s trade.
So now more than ever, public pressure is paramount. Huge social media campaigns were critical to the success of the last CITES meeting for sharks and rays. It’s not just government pressure that influences these decisions anymore, delegates are answerable to their public as well.
So why am I telling you all this? My beloved thresher sharks are up for the vote this year, and we need your voice. The Philippines is the only place in the world where you can see threshers in the shallows. There is a booming diving industry around this, and many of the local community who used to fish sharks, now work incredibly hard to protect them. These sharks are important economically, culturally and environmentally to this beautiful country. Unfortunately, the Philippine government will not be backing the proposal, so we need to show the rest of the world that we DEMAND protection.
So I’m doing what I almost never do, asking you to sign a petition. One that I think actually can make a difference. If you are in doubt, watch this.