Australia has signed on to expand the list of shark species currently protected in a Sharks Memorandum of Understanding under the Convention of Migratory Species (CMS) but continues to step away from legally binding international measures that would enforce protection of those species, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.
“Signatories to CMS are meeting this week in Costa Rica to discuss the expanded list of shark species.
"Last year the Australian Government caved into recreational and game fishers and lodged reservations against two species of hammerheads (scalloped and great) and three species of thresher shark (the big-eye, pelagic and common).
“In lodging these reservations, the Government effectively opted out of the process that protected those species.
“It is disappointing the Government has agreed to expand the list but doesn't commit to legally binding measures that ensure the sharks are genuinely protected.
“We know that Australians value sharks as a vital aspect of maintaining ocean health and want them protected. This was demonstrated during the West Australian Government’s attempts to implement shark culling. The Government should reflect that”.