Scientists Discuss Trade in Marine Species and Reptiles used in Luxury Products Tue, Jul 19, 2011

Scientists from around the world are gathering in Geneva for a meeting of the UN-backed body aimed at stopping trade in endangered species.

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Participants will discuss the trade in sharks and how to implement shark protection programmes Photo: cbpix/shutterstock

Geneva, 19 July 2011 - Scientists from around the world are gathering in Geneva for a meeting of the United Nations-backed international organization aimed at regulating trade in endangered species.

The 25th meeting of the Animals Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) will focus on fish and reptile leathers, which are often used in luxury goods.

Around 200 scientists, as well as intergovernmental bodies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), will discuss reports on topics such as the trade in sharks and the implementation of shark protection programmes, the efforts to control sturgeon stocks in Caspian range States and the use of reptile skins for fine leather products.

At last year's meeting, four proposals to include sharks in CITES Appendix II were rejected. Appendix II lists species that are not currently threatened with extinction, but that may become so unless trade is closely controlled. This decision enabled four fish species of great commercial value - the scalloped hammerhead, Oceanic whitetip, porbeagle and spiny dogfish - to continue to be traded without CITES permits. However, CITES parties remain concerned about the status of sharks.

CITES is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. It is administered by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in Geneva.

For more information, please contact:

Juan Carlos Vasquez, Communication and outreach officer, CITES Secretariat on Tel. +41 22 917 8156 or E-mail:

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