(San José, Costa Rica. January 10th, 2007)
The administrative authorities of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) of Costa Rica , represented by the National Conservation of Areas System and the Fisheries and Aquiculture Institute (INCOPESCA), announced last January 4th that Costa Rica will support the EEUU government management to provide strict protection for the Sawfish from international trade
During the next conference of parties (COP), taking place in Holland between the 2nd and 15th of June, the government of EEUU will propose to include the Sawfish into the Appendix I, providing total protection to the specie on international trade. The Sawfish is seriously endangered at global scale. Before abundant in costal habitats, it has been removed from most its distribution. Its main dangers are fishing and lost of habitat. Their fins and meat are used, but it is mainly searched for its saw, very valuable in the international market. Young individuals are also caught for its trade in aquariums. The Sawfish has been listed as Critically Endangered of Extinction by the World Conservation Union (IUCN).
According to Hubert Araya, of the research fisheries department of INCOPESCA, the situation of the Sawfish is critical. “In the Pacific it could be stated that it is almost extinct”, and in the Atlantic very few recent reports exist”, Araya stated with concern.
A greater international concern from the roots of the inclusion of this specie into Appendix I will affect in beneficial manner on the national conservation policies”, assured Ronald Vargas, directo of SINAC.
Randall Arauz, el Programa Restauración de Tortugas Marinas PRETOMA, celebrated the announcement of the National Management Authorities of CITES. “This action will have beneficial implications for the wild populations of Sawfish, as prevents the international trade of its most valuable products. The fins and the saw, so as the living specimen trade, said Arauz with optimism.
CITES is an internacional agreement of 169 state parties. The finalllity is to watch for that the international trade of specimens of wild animals and plants it is not a threat for their survival. Around 5.000 animals species and 28.000 are protected for CITES against the excessive exploitation due to international trade.