Prioritizing global genetic capacity building assistance to implement CITES shark and ray listings
The global demand for shark and ray products has fuelled a lucrative international trade, driving large population declines as a consequence. This high-volume trade exceeds the capacity of nations to monitor their trade and enforce international trade regulations, leaving them susceptible to international trade sanctions. Here, a multi-criteria decision analysis was used to examine global trade levels and regulatory controls associated with the world's shark and ray trade to prioritize international genetic capacity building assistance to implement the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendix II shark and ray listings. A total of 76 nations were identified as priority nations to collaborate in a genetic implementation program. Improving the capacity of nations to detect CITES Appendix II shark and rays bound for international markets using a genetic program can aid as an additional tool to enhance trade-monitoring and enforcement efforts to improve the conservation and management of commercially important and threatened shark and ray populations.