Costa Rica and Honduras to Recommend Protected Status for Hammerhead Sharks

What was Mother Nature thinking when she drew up the plans on that one? RTSea Blog is referring to hammerhead sharks, which are decreasing in numbers worldwide. The future of the hammerhead shark and many other species depend, in part, on decisions in policy. At the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which takes place in March 2013, Costa Rica and Honduras will both make a plea for the protected status of the scalloped hammerhead shark in their attempt to preserve marine diversity. [For more information on hammerheads, see previous post Hammerhead Sharks: Why do they have such funny heads?]

[. . .] Costa Rica and Honduras, Central American nations that have recognized the importance of biological diversity not only for the sake of their own ecology but as an important feature of their tourism revenue, plan to put forward a recommendation at the next convening of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in March of 2013. Recommending that scalloped hammerhead sharks be given an Appendix II status will then require the 175 member nations of CITES to ensure that trade is sustainable and legal.

For some hammerhead advocates, this is not sufficient action – hammerhead sharks are already listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – but it is a step in the right direction on the international front as it represents regulations and actions that must be taken by CITES members. Of course, having the resources to implement and maintain enforcement has always been an issue with many countries, so much remains to be seen.

Research completed over the past few years by groups like the Sea Turtle Restoration Project (PRETOMA) have shown hammerhead movements to extend beyond national boundaries with populations moving between the Cocos Island and Columbia and Ecuador. Because of this, Costa Rica and Honduras are hoping that they will not be lone voices at the CITES meeting next year.

“It’s time for strong international protection for endangered scalloped hammerhead sharks,” said Maximiliano Bello, senior adviser to the Global Shark Conservation Campaign of the Pew Environment Group. “Other governments should join Honduras and Costa Rica in supporting a sustainable future for these sharks.”  Many shark conservation groups will be watching what CITES does on behalf of the hammerhead sharks in 2013.

For full article, see http://rtseablog.blogspot.com/2012/05/saving-hammerhead-sharks-costa-rica.html

For explanation on hammerhead sharks unusual shape, see http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/why-hammerhead-sharks-have-such-funny-heads

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