Issues for t-RFMOs (WCPFC) in relation to the listing of shark and ray species by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) - WCPFC
This paper identifies a number of potential issues for Regional Fisheries Management Organizations managing tuna and tuna-related species arising from the additional listings by CITES of sharks and rays at the most recent Conference of Parties. These new Appendix II listings of five sharks (oceanic whitetip, porbeagle, smooth hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead and great hammerhead sharks), and all species of manta rays, were adopted in March 2013 and will come into effect on 14 September 2014. After this time, all exports of these species, including landings in non-flag State ports, will require permits to be issued by the flag State CITES Management Authority. If an export permit is to be issued, legal acquisition and non-detriment findings (NDFs) must also be issued. An NDF represents a certification by an authorized CITES Scientific Authority that the proposed export is not detrimental to the survival of the species. Catches on the high seas which are landed in flag State ports do not require export permits but will require Introduction from the Sea certificates which also require NDFs. Based on Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission data holdings for 2010-2012, this paper lists the flag States and range States catching CITES-listed shark and ray species in order to identify which States may need to action CITES documentation procedures for catches of these species after 14 September 2014. In addition, this paper describes existing WCPFC stock status assessments and management tools that may be useful to national CITES Authorities when considering NDFs.