If Hugh Paxton’s Blog was in Sri Lanka I’d be there but I’m not. I’m here. In England enjoying that rare thing, glorious sunshine. The event Barbara of the Pew Charitable Trusts describes is of interest and access to media and involved organisations and govts. If you fall into these categories it is well worth a shot. I like Colombo very much, the Pew Charitable Trusts do excellent work, and sharks and rays certainly need all the help they can get. Just because shark fishing is in some cases legally controlled does not mean this translates from words and paperwork to action. A friend has just returned from a southern Thailand shark processing port in a state of utraged, disbelieving shock with hideous photographs of brazen illegality. Tons of sharks, many, many species. More than you would imagine. I will post these extremely disturbing images with his permission upon my return to Thailand in three weeks time. I need to talk with him and discuss his next moves first. He wants this criminal carnage to stop, as do I. But being shot isn’t the way to go.
In the meantime, Hugh Paxton’s Blog wishes all those attending the workshop, and all those organizing and hosting it, success. Whether we know it or not, it isn’t just the rays and sharks that need it. Marine ecosystems need it. And we who depend on them do.
I will pass on the results to you when the Pews pass them on to me!
From: Barbara Cvrkel [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 12:34 AM
Subject: MEDIA ADVISORY: Sri Lankan Government Hosts Regional Workshop
WHAT: South Asia CITES Workshop: Implementing the Shark Appendix II Listings
The workshop will focus on assisting regional governments on how best to successfully implement the new Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendix II listings on shark and manta ray protections, which go into effect on September 14.
WHO: Hosts are the Sri Lankan Department of Wildlife Conservation, Ministry of Wildlife Resources Conservation and The Pew Charitable Trusts
WHEN: Wednesday, July 30
WHERE: Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo
Sir Chittampalam A Gardiner Mawatha
Colombo, Sri Lanka
TIME: Workshop is an all-day event
Media welcome between 9 am and 10:40 am
The following officials from the host organizations will be available to speak to the media:
· Mr. H. D. Ratnayake – Director General, Department of Wildlife Conservation, Sri Lanka
· Mr. B. K. U. A. Wickramasinghe – Secretary to the Ministry of Wildlife Resources Conservation
· Hon. Gamini Vijith Vijayamuni Zoysa – Hon. Minister of Wildlife Resources Conservation
· Imogen Zethoven – Director, The Pew Charitable Trusts global shark conservation campaign
***additionally, some participants may be willing to speak with the media…TBD onsite.
CONTACT: Please contact me if you would like to have a reporter attend the workshop.
I can coordinate interviews with any of the designated spokespeople.
Who will be attending:
The following countries are sending representatives from their CITES Management Authorities, Fisheries Departments and Customs Offices:
Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Pakistan, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam
Background: The Sri Lankan government and Pew are presenting this workshop to support regional governments and help them develop measures that effectively implement and enforce the new shark and manta ray listings in Appendix II of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
At the 16th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP16) to CITES that was held in March 2013, several shark species – oceanic whitetip (Carcharhinus longimanus), scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini), great hammerhead (S. mokarran), smooth hammerhead (S. zygaena), and the porbeagle shark (Lamna nasus), and two species of manta rays (genus Manta) – were listed in Appendix II. Recognizing that implementation of these listings will take some preparation and may involve agencies not usually involved with CITES implementation, CITES Parties agreed to delay their entry into force until September 14, 2014.
CITES Parties from across the region will attend these workshops and CITES implementation and shark experts from around the world will be present to assist countries in developing the tools needed to successfully implement these new CITES shark listings by September 14, 2014. From that date, all trade in these species will have to be shown to be both sustainable and legal.
The workshop will focus on measures that Parties must develop in order to be in compliance with the new listings, including processes for developing non-detriment findings for sharks. The workshop will also include training from scientists who are the world’s experts in shark identification to offer enforcement officials guidance and materials to allow the identification of products from these species.