Georgienne Bradley of Malibu-based Sea Save Foundation is arguing for protections for sharks this week at a conference where delegates vote on what species should be sanctioned from international trade.
Bradley, who also lives in Malibu, is a participant observer at the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, which is debating and voting on which species should be monitored and which international trade sanctions are needed for threatened and endagered species.
Delegates at the conference are currently discussing the available science and the possibility of placing five large marine species on the CITES Appendix II list, including scalloped hammerhead sharks, great hammerhead sharks, porbeagle sharks, oceanic whitetip sharks and manta rays.
Bradley said research shows the shark population is plummeting across the globe.
"Sharks are apex predators and as such are keystone species in marine ecosystems. If these species disappear the consequences will be dire. Collapse of fisheries and international marine habitats will follow," Bradley said.
"We need to think long-term and apply sanctions that will protect these imperiled species. This will both allow these species to begin to recover, and will enable scientists to collect stronger data that will facilitate domestic and international public policy.”