Monday, March 4, 2013

CITES 101 Podcasts: Experts Discuss Protection for Sharks and Manta Rays

With the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) underway in Bangkok, governments will be considering whether to add five species of sharks and two species of manta rays to the treaty. Experts from the PEW Charitable Trusts highlight key issues under discussion and potential outcomes for this important meeting in a series of CITES podcasts.

Episode 1: Sharks' Big Hope

In the first installment, Sue Lieberman explains which of the seven species advocates are seeking to protect at this year's conference and how the CITES treaty works to protect more than 30,000 endangered species.

Episode 2: The Case for Conservation

In this interview, shark expert Elizabeth Wilson explains the role sharks play as top predators in the food web and what changes when their numbers dwindle. Sharks are more like marine mammals, Wilson says, and can be overfished quickly.

Episode 3: Back to Bangkok

In the third segment, Pew expert Susan Lieberman talks about how attitudes and politics have changed since 2004, the last time Thailand hosted the conference. "I’ve been to every CITES meeting since 1989, and we're seeing a lot more attention on fish, marine species, on sharks, than ever before," Lieberman says. "It's going to be hard, but I think the politics have changed."

Image courtesy of FLPA