PADI has announced that it will spearhead and advocate for shark protection and conservation at the 2022 Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES).
During the meeting, which will be held in Panama in November, PADI is expected to push for the inclusion of even more shark species on the threatened lists.
This means that governments can then impose trade restrictions on these species, which helps protect them. To help get governments to sign up for more protections, PADI is urging its members worldwide to lobby their local governments for support.
According to the PADI AWARE Foundation’s Associate Director of Policy and Campaigns Ian Campbell:
“The invitation to advise governments from the host nation of Panama at CITES as a result of PADI’s letter of support has highlighted just how impactful taking direct action for the ocean can be when it comes to pushing the needle for creating positive ocean change… Sharks are critical to our world’s largest and most important ecosystem, keeping our oceans in healthy balance for more than 450 million years…Over a third of all species of sharks and rays are facing extinction in our lifetime. PADI is taking action by representing our passionate community of Ocean Torchbearers at international arenas like CITES where real-life decisions are made.”
“This CITES meeting is turning out to be one of the most important for sharks ever. The proposals put forward include most of the species that make up the shark fin trade, and that attract tourists to dive sites all over the world…CITES only comes around once every three years, so we must grab this opportunity before these sharks disappear from our favorite spots forever.”
You can find out more and learn how to help here.