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As there's been a generally good response to environmental matters posted on YD, I thought we could add our own support for this campaign, shouldn't take more than a few minutes.

The following text is by
Sonja Fordham, IUCN Shark Specialist Group, March 2004.

Many of you will remember the campaign in 2002 to get the Whale shark and the Basking shark listed on CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), and that after much hard work and last minute lobbying both animals were successfully listed.

Well the CITES conference of parties is due to meet again in October 2004, and now is the time for proposing species for consideration at this meeting.

Germany has been working hard to put the case forward for the Porbeagle and the Spiny Dogfish - unfortunately it seems only one of these may succeed, and the case is strongest for the Spiny Dogfish.

On Monday/Tuesday next week (19/20th April) a group of European Ministers will meet to decide the fate of Germany's proposal to get the Spiny Dogfish proposed as a CITES Species.

Support for this proposal must be shown now! We are asking you to take the time to forward a letter to the ministers showing your support for this proposal.

Rt. Honorable Ben Bradshaw MP
Minister for Nature Conservation and Fisheries
Nobel House
17 Smith Square
London SW1P 3JR
April 15, 2004

Dear Minister

RE: Proposed CITES listing for Spiny Dogfish

As a concerned resident of Great Britain, I am writing to express my strong support for Germany’s proposal to include spiny dogfish sharks in Appendix II of the Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). I respectfully request that you, as a decision-maker in this matter, ensure that this important and sound proposal be adopted at the upcoming European Union decision meeting and advanced to the October Conference of the Parties to CITES.

I agree and appreciate Germany’s attempt to act as a responsible consumer especially when it comes to some of the world’s most vulnerable fish. Like other sharks, spiny dogfish grow slowly, mature late and produce few young and are therefore especially susceptible to overfishing. Indeed, excessive exploitation driven by European market demand has led to severe depletion of several spiny dogfish populations around the world. A CITES Appendix II listing would help ensure that international trade in this imperiled species is no longer unsustainable.

Germany’s dogfish listing proposal has been well received by the CITES Animals Committee Working Group on Sharks and makes an excellent case that the species meets the criteria for listing in CITES Appendix II.

Whereas such a listing would do little to restrict European dogfish fisheries and rebuild our populations, I feel strongly that CITES protection for spiny dogfish is urgently needed to prevent depletion of still more populations and to prompt conservation measures in exporting countries. I urge you to actively support and promote this proposal.

Thank you for considering my views. I look forward to hearing about the outcomes of the CITES decision meeting.


The letter should be mailed to:

[email protected];
[email protected];
[email protected];
[email protected];
[email protected];
[email protected];


Overview of Conservation and Management Status of Spiny Dogfish Sharks (Squalus acanthias):

The Spiny Dogfish, Squalus acanthias, is a small shark found in temperate waters worldwide, where it is or has been important in commercial fisheries. It is exceptionally slow-growing and long-lived and therefore especially prone to rapid over-exploitation and long-lasting depletion. The sustainability of Spiny Dogfish fisheries is further hampered by the tendency for directed fisheries to target large, mature females. Reproductive biomass in the Northwest has declined by 75% in the past 15 years and total biomass has fallen by 95% in the Northeast Atlantic since fisheries began over one hundred years ago. Demand for Spiny Dogfish meat, primarily from Europe where depleted stocks may no longer meet market demand, is driving targeted fisheries around the world, none of which are effectively managed. Spiny Dogfish fins also enter international trade for use in shark fin soup. There are no regional or international management measures in place for Spiny Dogfish.

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