Archive for March 11th, 2013

Hugh Paxton blog ghost Story Competition

March 11, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s Blog has decided to encourage ghost story writing. Hence this new competition. The title is flexible. Change it if you want! rHave a go!


Candles and the House of Lamps.docx

Sharks and Manta Rays Receive Protection Under CITES

March 11, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s Blog is getting more and more of these shark press releases. It seems that a lot of people out there care! Always nice to see! I’ll post any that come with really nice images but otherwise I’ll retain my energy for different animals. I’m hearing bad things about slow loris to Japan where they are considered cute. To terrible effect the slow loris IS cute. It looks like a Furbie children’s toy. It is excruciatingly expensive, the trade is illegal and their bite is poisonous (only two mammals have a poison bite – the platypus and this loris). Dealers, traders, similar filth pull out their teeth without calming dugs prior to transport then stick them in their underpants.

How low can you go?

Anyway, here’s the shark stuff!


From: Kessler, Danielle []
Sent: Monday, March 11, 2013 6:20 PM
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Subject: Sharks and Manta Rays Receive Protection Under CITES


Media Contact:

Bangkok, Thailand: Danielle Kessler

+66 (0) 81-750-4216


USA: Claire Cassel



Sharks and Manta Rays Receive Protection Under CITES

(Bangkok, Thailand—11 March 2013) Sharks and manta rays have received protection today under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES member nations, referred to as “Parties,” voted to increase protections for five species of sharks as well as two species of manta rays. Leading up to and during this meeting, the United States has worked with a coalition of countries committed to gaining support for these proposals—Brazil, Colombia, the European Union, Costa Rica, Honduras, Ecuador, Mexico, Comoros, and Egypt, among others.

“We are extremely pleased that CITES member nations have given greater protections to these commercially exploited marine species,” said Bryan Arroyo, head of the U.S. delegation to the treaty’s 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties in Bangkok. “Through the cooperation of the global community, we can begin addressing the threats posed by unsustainable global trade in shark fins and other parts and products of shark and ray species.”

A proposal submitted by Colombia, and co-sponsored by the United States and Brazil, to list oceanic whitetip sharks in Appendix II was adopted in a secret ballot vote with 92 in support, 42 opposed and 8 abstentions. The United States jointly submitted this proposal due to concerns that over-exploitation for the international fin trade is negatively impacting the population status of this shark species.

In addition to oceanic whitetip sharks, proposals to increase protection for three species of hammerhead sharks – scalloped hammerhead, great hammerhead, and smooth hammerhead; porbeagle sharks; and manta rays were adopted by the Parties. The United States strongly supported these marine species proposals and commends the leadership of the countries responsible for their submission.

"Sharks and manta rays are extremely important to the ocean ecosystems," said Sam Rauch, of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "The global protection that CITES offers these incredible species will complement existing international shark protection measures by ensuring their trade is sustainable and does not threaten their survival. We are thrilled these important shark and ray proposals were adopted and applaud the leadership of the many countries that helped us get there."

Today’s decisions could be reconsidered later this week, when the Parties hold a decision-making session to finalize recommendations made throughout the week. “Populations of these species are in severe decline, primarily due to commercial exploitation. The science supports these listings,” said Arroyo. “We are confident that the CITES Parties will uphold these decisions.”

Sharks are over-harvested in many parts of the world, primarily for their fins. Most shark fins are exported to Asia, where they are a main ingredient in shark fin soup, which is considered a delicacy in many Asian countries. Due to their low productivity and high economic value, populations of these shark species have suffered severe declines. Porbeagle sharks also face pressures due to demand for their meat, while manta rays are over-harvested for their gill plates.

While some regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) have adopted measures to manage sharks, these regional measures alone cannot ensure the international trade of this species is globally sustainable. Not all range countries are members of RFMOs and many marine species that are traded internationally swim long distances, often crossing national boundaries. For these species, conservation can only be achieved by working collaboratively with other nations.

Today’s votes place the five shark species and all manta rays in Appendix II of CITES – an action that means increased protection, but still allows legal and sustainable trade. Listing commercially-exploited marine species, especially those taken on the high sea, in the CITES Appendices has been a highly polarized and much debated issue at recent Conferences of the Parties, in part because the provisions for marine species taken on the high seas were open to interpretation. Earlier in this meeting, the Parties passed a resolution clarifying CITES implementation for marine species taken on the high seas, termed “Introduction from the Sea.” The Introduction from the Sea provisions provide CITES Parties with a clear, comprehensive framework for implementation of listings of species taken on the high seas and CITES is well-positioned to assist in securing the future of our fishery resources.

CITES is an international agreement initiated in 1973 and is currently signed by 178 countries regulating global trade in imperiled wild animals and plants including their parts and products. A meeting of the Conference of the Parties is held every 2-3 years to review, discuss, and negotiate changes in the management and control of trade in the various wildlife species covered by the agreement.

Species protected by CITES are included in one of three appendices. Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction and provides the greatest level of protection, including restrictions on commercial trade. Appendix II includes species that, although currently not threatened with extinction, may become so without trade controls. Changes to Appendices I and II must be proposed at a CoP and agreed to by a two-thirds majority of the Parties present and voting. In contrast, listings to Appendix III can be requested by individual Parties at any time. Appendix III includes species protected by at least one country that needs assistance from other Parties to control trade.

For additional information about the many marine proposals discussed at CoP16, visit the U.S. CoP16 Marine Issues webpage at

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Visit us at or on Facebook at

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. Connect with our Facebook page at, follow our tweets at, watch our YouTube Channel at and download photos from our Flickr page at


MORE ON SHARKS: Shark Proposals Adopted at CITES Committee Meeting

March 11, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s Blog sends more shark stuff! Perhaps it’s a bit more explanatory.



Shark Proposals Adopted at CITES Committee Meeting

Historic shark conservation decisions still must be confirmed in plenary

Bangkok, 11 March 2013. In a highly anticipated Committee vote today, proposals to list under CITES* five species of sharks were supported by more than the two-thirds majority of voting countries needed for adoption. Conservationists are pleased yet mindful that decisions must still be confirmed in the final plenary session later this week.

“We are delighted by the outcome of today’s votes for listing several species of sharks under CITES, and hopeful that these historic decisions will be upheld in plenary later this week,” as said Sonja Fordham of Shark Advocates International. “These highly traded, threatened shark species urgently need protection from the unsustainable trade that jeopardizes populations, ecosystems, livelihoods, and ecotourism.”

Porbeagle, oceanic whitetip shark, and three species of hammerheads have been proposed by a variety of countries for listing under CITES Appendix II, which would prompt permits to ensure exports are sustainable and legal.

“We are encouraged that the required majority of CITES Parties voting this morning supported the shark listing proposals,” said Ali Hood from Shark Trust. “Between now and plenary, we will be urging governments to remain vigilant and ensure final adoption of these vital international trade controls.”

CITES Parties will reconvene in plenary to finalize decisions, likely this Thursday.

*Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species

Notes to Editors:
The German Elasmobranch Society, Humane Society International, Project AWARE, Shark Advocates International, Shark Trust, and Wildlife Conservation Society, with support from Oceans 5, are working as a coalition to promote the proposals to list shark and ray species at the 16th Conference of Parties to CITES.

The fins of hammerhead and oceanic whitetip sharks are in great demand in Asia for use in shark fin soup while porbeagle sharks are prized primarily for their meat in Europe.

The CITES Parties are also considering proposals to list manta rays and freshwater sawfish.

For more information and species factsheets visit and follow @CITES4sharks.

For interviews, please contact Sophie Hulme, sophie, Mob: +44 7973 712869 (London) or +66 8-9455-1663 (Bangkok).


March 11, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s blog has just returned from a day trip to Khao Yai National Park to interview rangers being trained in anti-poaching techniques and a wide range of other essentials and disciplines for species protection, law enforcement, self defence, managerial skills etc. conducted by the Freeland Foundation. The Freeland chaps are characterized by military or scientific backgrounds and I’d define the organization as…organized! Really refreshing to see! I’ll write more on their activities in the near future or if you are impatient hit their website. Then check my story. It will be on your desk and computer and in your face on Sunday.

But this is something to anticipate.

I’m back on sharks right now.

I came back to Bangkok and my email was clogged with messages. This was one of the more encouraging ones. From The Pew Environment Group people. They do good work!


Hugh from Bangkok


Great news for sharks at CITES! The proposal to include the porbeagle shark in Appendix II of CITES just passed in Committee I. Having narrowly missed being included at the last CITES meeting, Pew is thrilled to see the Parties take action to protect this vulnerable shark species.

Recent assessments show that in some places porbeagle populations have been so severely depleted that this species is unable to fulfil its key role in the marine ecosystem.

The vote was 93 For, 39 Against, 8 Abstentions (and was taken by secret ballot).

QUOTE: Elizabeth Wilson, Manager of Pew’s Global Shark Conservation Campaign.
“The porbeagle shark finally has its day! The international demand for porbeagle meat and fins has taken its toll and driven populations towards collapse across its range. Ensuring that the trade in this species is sustainable is a critical step for its long-term survival.”

QUOTE: Susan Lieberman, Director of International Policy at The Pew Charitable Trusts.
“This decision will change the course for the porbeagle shark from its current woeful state, giving this species a fighting chance for survival. Finally, on the third try, the porbeagle now joins the its close relative – the great white shark –on CITES, meaning trade in this species will now have to be sustainable.”

This decision could change and is not final until it is approved in Plenary on Thursday 14th March.

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