Department of the Interior
|Office of the Secretary||
CONTACT: Hugh Vickery
|September 23, 2004||
United States to Support Protections for Great White Sharks, Other Threatened Species at CITES Conference in Bangkok
(WASHINGTON) -- Great white sharks are one of the world's most feared predators, but a sharp decline in their populations means the United States will be supporting international trade restrictions to protect the species, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Craig Manson said today.
Manson will head the U.S. delegation to the 13th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in the Threatened and Endangered Species (CITES) in Bangkok from Oct. 2 to14. CITES is an international agreement signed by more than 160 nations to regulate global trade in certain wild animals and plants that are or may become threatened with extinction due to commercial trade.
Like many species of sharks, great whites have been over-harvested, especially for their fins, which are used in soups and medicines.
have a natural terror of 'Jaws,' but great white sharks and many other
plants and animals are the species that are truly threatened,"
Manson said. "By helping regulate sustainable wildlife trade while
working to curb poaching and shut down black markets, CITES applies
the power of international partnership and cooperation to conserving
The United States
also is proposing to ease export restrictions on American bald eagles,
reflecting their dramatically improved population status in the lower
48 states. The proposal would bring the eagle's CITES status into line
with its status as a threatened species under the Endangered Species
Act. Since eagles are protected under a number of U.S. laws, the only
practical effect of the U.S. proposal would be to make it easier for
Native American tribes in the United States and Canada to exchange eagles
feathers and parts for religious purposes.
The United States is proposing to remove CITES protections from bobcats because they are not threatened or endangered, and do not meet the conditions for inclusion in Appendix II of the treaty.
Any listing of a species
in either Appendix I or II requires approval by two-thirds of the CITES
party countries that vote on the proposal.
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