There is agreement on protecting 18 threatened species of sharks and rays. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) agreed to give greater protection for the marine creatures from commercial fishing. Many of the threatened species are hunted for their meat and fins. Some of the protected species include the world's fastest shark (the mako shark), wedgefishes and guitarfishes. The Wildlife Conservation Society said: "Sharks are vulnerable....Momentum is clearly building to ensure that these species...continue to be around for future generations."
CITES is an international treaty established in 1973 signed by 182 different states to protect endangered animals and plants. The focus of the weekend meeting was on protecting sharks. The number of sharks killed each year by commercial fishing is estimated at 100 million. A conservation group said this could be as high as 273 million. Forty countries disagreed that the mako shark was in danger because there was not enough evidence to show it was disappearing as a result of fishing. The global shark fin market is thought to be worth over $1.2 billion.