The Second International Shark and Ray Conservation Symposium began this morning at Four Seasons, Landaa Giraavaru. Minister Mr. Thoriq Ibrahim inaugurated the Symposium by highlighting that Maldives has always been at the forefront of marine conservation especially of threatened and endangered species and that over 50 countries from many regions of the world believe in the same and agreed to co-sponsor the Maldives’ proposal to list the silky shark in Appendix II of CITES at COP 17.
Leaders from different countries have gathered to focus on this global discussion to ensure sharks and rays are a priority at this year’s CITES COP 17. These three proposals by Maldives, Sri Lanka and Fiji on silky shark, thresher shark, and mobula rays respectively are already groundbreaking.
This two days symposium will have presentations from world leading experts focusing on cutting edge shark science, global implementation success and growing concern for sharks, shifts in global shark fin trade, element cycles in Earth ecosystems, etc. Two presentation will be given by Maldives, one on “shark and ray conservation and ecotourism in Maldives” by Senior Policy Executive of Ministry of Environment and Energy, Dr. Abdulla Naseer, and the other on “silky shark proposal at COP17- an overview” by Director General of Marine Research Centre, Dr. Mohamed Shiham Adam.
This symposium is hosted in partnership with the governments of Srilanka and Fiji focusing on rising global recognition of the importance of shark and ray conservation , new developments and trends in in global trade of these species, preparation for the upcoming CITES COP17, and the suite of benefits shark conservation provides to governements across the world, with the Maldives as a primary example of shark and ray ecotourism.