30 global NGOs co-sponsor conservation recommendations to U.S. government
San José, Costa Rica (March 30, 2017) – A global coalition of marine biodiversity conservation organizations submitted a report yesterday to the United States government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) detailing scientific and commercial information on the population status of oceanic whitetip sharks and the need for their increased protection. The report was submitted as part of NOAA’s call for information to assist its process of developing protective regulations for the species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). If listed on the ESA, oceanic whitetips would join 2,270 other endangered or threatened species and habitats that are afforded protection by the United States governmentIn December 2016, NOAA Fisheries proposed listing the oceanic whitetip shark (Cacharhinus longimanus) as threatened and put out an immediate call for more information that would strengthen its recommendation. In response to the government’s request, the United States based NGO Fins Attached and the Costa Rican based conservation non-profit CREMA compiled new and rare commercial landing information for the species in Costa Rica as well as evaluated the adequacy of current measures to protect the species. Their research led to a report and list of recommendations, co-sponsored by 30 global NGOs, that conclude that current oceanic whitetip management mechanisms are inadequately designed and implemented and because of this have failed to reverse the species’ decreasing abundance in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. Based on this analysis, the report supports a threatened listing for oceanic whitetip sharks under the ESA and also calls for an endangered listing, implying even stronger protection.