The Third Meeting of Signatories to the MoU on the Conservation of Migratory Sharks agreed to list eight species of sharks in Annex 1 of the MoU.
Additional decisions taken during the meeting included: a provision regarding lookalike species; terms of reference for the intersessional working group on conservation measures; the guidance for MoU Signatories and the Secretariat in their engagement with regional fisheries management organizations; and a capacity-building programme.
14 December 2018: The Third Meeting of Signatories (MOS3) to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Conservation of Migratory Sharks agreed to list eight species of sharks in Annex 1 of the MoU. The species that will now receive this protection include: the dusky shark; the common guitarfish; the bottlenose wedgefish/whitespotted wedgefish together with two lookalike species, the smoothnose wedgefish and whitespotted wedgefish/giant guitarfish; the oceanic whitetip shark; the angelshark; and the smooth hammerhead shark.
Additional decisions taken during the meeting include: a provision regarding lookalike species; a procedure for modifying Annex 1 of the MoU, addressing the listing criteria; terms of reference for the intersessional working group on conservation measures; the guidance for MoU Signatories and the Secretariat in their engagement with regional fisheries management organizations; a communication and awareness-raising strategy; a capacity-building programme; a budget increase of 10.4% for the upcoming triennium; and the programme of work 2019-2021.
The MoU is moving more strongly into implementation of conservation actions.
MOS3 convened from 10-14 December 2018 in the Principality of Monaco. Organized by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), whose Secretariat is provided by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP, or UN Environment), this was the third MOS since the Sharks MoU came into effect in 2011.
CMS was designed as a framework through which Parties may conserve migratory species and their habitats by: adopting strict protection measures for migratory species characterized as endangered throughout all or a significant portion of their ranges (species listed in Appendix I of the Convention); concluding agreements for the conservation and management of migratory species that have an unfavorable conservation status or would benefit from international cooperation (species listed in Appendix II); and joint research and monitoring activities.
The Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary of MOS3 highlights that key accomplishments in addition to adding eight species to Annex 1 included the “creation of three intersessional working groups (IWGs), and a sense that the MoU is moving more strongly into implementation of conservation actions.” In her closing remarks on behalf of CMS Executive Secretary Bradnee Chambers, Melanie Virtue, CMS Secretariat, also highlighted the discussion on species listings and the nature of the listings, guidance on habitat conservation, and the capacity-building programme as MOS3 accomplishments. [IISD RS Coverage of MOS3] [SDG Knowledge Hub Policy Brief on Sharks MoU Leading into MOS3]