As of earlier today, oceanic whitetip (Carcharhinus longimanus), smooth hammerhead (Sphyrna zygaena), great hammerhead (Sphyrna mokarran), scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini) porbeagle sharks (Lamna nasus) and both species of manta ray (Manta birostris and Manta alfredi) have been added to Appendix II of CITES. Appendix II lists species which are not necessarily threatened with immediate extinction but which may become so unless trade is closely controlled.
As predicted, the final votes were very close, with the shark trading nations forcing several re-votes during the Plenary session. The results are a big step forward for marine conservation, and we all owe the numerous individuals and NGOs that worked tirelessly to achieve this over the past three years, a big debt of gratitude. It is a great day for sharks and rays!