IT’S been a good week for beleaguered sharks. A cross-border conservation pact signed by 126 countries this week promises for the first time to extend extra protection to sharks and several other migratory species, whichever countries they stray into.
Among the biggest winners at the global Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) were whale sharks: the world’s largest fish. They are a vulnerable species and their population has been falling. Governments added whale sharks to appendix I of the convention, promising to protect them domestically from killing or capture, and to safeguard their habitats.
Conservationists welcomed the move because it means whale sharks will finally be protected at offshore “hotspots” to which they migrate, including Madagascar, Mozambique, Peru and Tanzania.
Several other sharks made it on to appendix II, which obliges countries within a species’ migratory range to collaborate on measures to protect them, for example by regulating …
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