Eighteen threatened species of sharks and rays will be better protected. Countries signed to the CITES animal and plant protection treaty agreed on greater protection for these marine creatures from commercial fishing. The protected species include the world's fastest shark (the mako shark), wedgefishes and guitarfishes. A conservationist wants to ensure they continue to be around for future generations.
CITES was established in 1973 and is signed by 182 different states. The focus of the weekend meeting was on reducing the number of sharks killed each year by commercial fishing. A conservation group said as many as 273 million sharks are killed annually. Forty countries said there was no evidence to show that the mako was in danger as a result of fishing. The global shark fin market is believed to be worth over $1.2 billion.