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Goal: 75,000 Progress: 24,160
Sponsored by: The Rainforest Site

Shark finning is an atrocious act that, despite a recent dip in popularity, continues to threaten dozens of species of endangered sharks in the name of shark fin soup — a traditionally aristocratic delicacy that has a newfound niche in China's emerging middle class. Fishermen, responding to demand, catch the sharks, cut off their fins, and toss the less valuable "meat" (that is, the still-living creature they just mutilated) back into the water, where the shark will subsequently die from blood loss or suffocation.

This outmoded tradition began as a way for the wealthy to show superiority over the apex predators of the ocean, and to impress their guests with barbaric prowess. Today, the slaughter continues in excess, despite humans' clear predatory superiority. Twenty-five percent of known shark species are now on the verge of extinction, which has interrupted the balance of countless oceanic ecosystems, and has had huge economic impacts.

Sharks play an important role in the maintenance of their habitats. When their numbers drop — as they have been, due to exploitation and slow recovery rates — a ripple effect can disrupt the populations of their prey, and their prey's prey, ultimately costing fisheries and the larger community a lot more than the few hundred dollars per shark market price. Incidentally, shark meat has virtually no taste, and may contain dangerous levels of mercury, making it unsafe to eat.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) treaty has been fighting to preserve sharks for decades, yet only offers protections for eight shark species — a mere fraction of those that are threatened with extinction from finning. Sign the petition asking CITES Secretary-General to ramp up efforts, and to expand the protective scope of CITES to include all threatened, vulnerable, endangered, and critically endangered sharks.

Sign Here

To the Secretary-General of CITES,

First, I would like to thank you for the work you do to protect sharks and other chondrichthyans from exploitation and illegal fishing. The CITES shark and manta ray conservation program has no doubt had a significant impact on countless marine ecosystems, and is an essential complement to regionally specific protection measures.

However, despite regulations and conservation efforts, shark finning continues to drive down populations for threatened and endangered sharks. A recent report from the IUCN Shark Specialist Group found that, due to exploitation and slow recovery rates, about one in four known species of sharks is either threatened, vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered — about 100 more species than you currently list for protection.

In March 2013, you added four shark species to the CITES Appendices — an important step to providing safeguards for the sharks that need them the most. You will recall, though, that protection measures were delayed for eighteen months to allow sufficient time for Parties to prepare for implementation. That's a nearly two-year wait to add protections for four species — meanwhile, one new species of shark is described every two or three weeks. For reproductively sluggish shark species, eighteen months could mean the difference between survival and untimely extinction.

That is why I would like to urge you to take action to immediately extend protections to all threatened, vulnerable, endangered, and critically endangered sharks.

CITES is the global authority on shark species protections, and an aggressive expansion of its conservation measures could have the cogency to resolve the current shark population crisis. With your help, we may be able to save these apex predators, and ultimately the entire oceanic ecosystem, before it's too late.

Thank you.

Petition Signatures

Jan 22, 2018 Gail Miller
Jan 11, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jan 9, 2018 (Name not displayed) cruel and inhumane treatment of another living being.
Jan 9, 2018 Susan Atkins This has to stop!!! The barbarians that are the human race are slowly killing our planet!!
Jan 8, 2018 Stephanie Yocom
Jan 8, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jan 8, 2018 Catherine Howlett
Jan 8, 2018 Bruce Lubitow
Jan 8, 2018 Janice Tumpap
Jan 8, 2018 Chris T Humans are destroying to world and for what
Jan 8, 2018 Alexandria Luostari
Jan 8, 2018 Jennifer Payne
Jan 8, 2018 Johanna Gray
Jan 8, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jan 8, 2018 Maryellen Hoscila
Jan 8, 2018 (Name not displayed) Please protect ocean ecosystems and end this cruel practice.
Jan 8, 2018 Kirsty Midlane It would be utterly ignorant to leave any shark species out of protection legislation. There is no form of life that is safe from human detriment, but we can atleast use international legislation to ensure they out live the human species and thrive.
Jan 8, 2018 Ruhee Padmanabh
Jan 8, 2018 Bob Cares
Jan 8, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jan 8, 2018 John Cunningham
Jan 8, 2018 sandra klein
Jan 7, 2018 eric archambault
Jan 5, 2018 Deborah Bell
Jan 4, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jan 2, 2018 Jo Ardell
Jan 1, 2018 maggie grant
Dec 31, 2017 Peter Wilson
Dec 30, 2017 lisa caceres I think it is a bad evil practice for people that feel like they are eating something wild and different , when actually they are going to make many species of shark extinct , because of mans infinite greed .
Dec 30, 2017 Laura Novak
Dec 30, 2017 robin karlsson
Dec 30, 2017 Anthony Donovan Barbaric. Our oceans sre in trouble. We must start the repair now.
Dec 29, 2017 Darla Vanderflute
Dec 29, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Dec 27, 2017 Bree Foth
Dec 23, 2017 marge beck
Dec 19, 2017 T.J. Pitts
Dec 18, 2017 Lou McMullen
Dec 16, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Dec 13, 2017 Mr and Mrs Richard N. Huff
Nov 30, 2017 Maria Bradley
Nov 21, 2017 Gerri Petersen
Nov 20, 2017 (Name not displayed) I'm against animal cruelty, abuse, neglect, & extinction.
Nov 19, 2017 Elise McCoubrie
Nov 19, 2017 Stacey Govito
Nov 19, 2017 Pamela Babcock
Nov 18, 2017 sarah weisberg
Nov 18, 2017 Judi Kaleh
Nov 18, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 13, 2017 Joann Smith

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