THE MANAGEMENT OF SHARKS – Conserve Through Trade


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Sharks – Key facts

Sharks have swum the oceans for around 250 million years, residing at the top of the marine food chain. Their only known predators are other sharks and man.

Nearly 400 shark species exist, covering most parts of the world. Among the largest are the whale shark, which can grow to a length of 50 feet (15 meters), and the basking shark at 42 feet (13 meters). The great white can grow to a length of around 25 feet (7.5 meters).

The tiger shark, one of the most feared species, can grow to 20 feet (6 meters) and will eat almost anything. The mako shark measures up to 14 feet (4 meters) and can travel at speeds of 45 mph (72 kmph).

Of the hundreds of millions of sharks in the oceans, many migrate great distances due to climatic, food and environmental factors.

Sharks eat seals, sea lions, bottlenose dolphins and small cetaceans, elephant seals, porpoises, turtles, tuna and other fish, as well as other sharks.

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Conservation Influencers

Conservation Influencers is a searchable directory of the animal activist, environmental and ecological lobby. It examines the history, mission, methodology and reputation of NGOs to assess their impact on the global conservation cause.

Franz Weber Foundation

From 1990 until 2015, Franz Weber Foundation (FFW) managed the Fazao-Malfakassa National Park in Togo, which was, according to an in-depth investigation by Duke University, ‘established by forcing the local communities off their land and without taking into consideration their point of view’. That same study cited convincing evidence from reports published in 1990, confirming that competition for land use was already ‘creating conflict between the local communities and park managers’. In 2015 Togo refused to renew FFW’s contract because, the report says, ‘local communities were still excluded from the management of the natural resources of their land’ and FFW had ‘failed to fulfil its contract’. Franz Weber Foundation plays a major role within CITES because it funds and manages from Switzerland the African Elephant Coalition (AEC), which represents 32 African range states, some of which have barely any elephants and others none at all. Contrary to the wishes of the range states in Southern Africa, which manage most of the world’s wild elephant populations, the AEC at CITES’ CoPs repeatedly tables proposals to put all of the world’s elephants in appendix I. And the AEC uses its voting power to keep in place prohibitions on ivory sales and all other trade in elephant-related derivatives, including skins and hair, which Southern African nations wish to legalise.