Japan to reject CITES shark agreements

Japan ignores world opinion CITES

The New Age reports that the Japanese government is to reject the CITES agreement to add the oceanic whitetip (Carcharhinus longimanus), smooth hammerhead (Sphyrna zygaena), great hammerhead (Sphyrna mokarran), scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini) porbeagle sharks (Lamna nasus) to Appendix II. The agreement would limit cross border trade in products that have been made using the animals. Japan is filing a “reservation”, which are defined by the organization thus:

Any Party (member State) of CITES may make a unilateral statement that it will not be bound by the provisions of the Convention relating to trade in a particular species listed in the Appendices (or in a part or derivative listed in Appendix III). These statements are called reservations and may be made in accordance with Articles XV, XVI and XXIII of the Convention.

So it would seem that despite the sharks receiving protection under the highest body in the world, the Japanese government fully intends to ignore world opinion and agreement. What is doubly boggling is that CITES has no power or precedent to stop them doing so. That being the case, there seems little point in the organization.