1. Sharks and rays are one of the most endangered groups of animals on the planet.
  2. There are more than 1,000 species of sharks and rays living today.
  3. Approximately 100 species of sharks and rays are regularly traded for their fins and meat.
  4. Since 2013, CITES began to list regularly commercially traded species of sharks and rays under the convention’s appendices, mainly under CITES Appendix II, which is about sustainable trade and utilization.
  5. There are 18 species up for listing at CITES Cop 18 (a record number of sharks and ray proposals for a CITES meeting), with a record number of governments (more than 50) supporting the proposals.
  6. Sixteen of the 18 species proposed for listings under CITES CoP 18 (on Appendix II) are giant guitarfish (6 species) and wedgefish (10 species), strange flattened relatives of true sharks that are almost all listed as “Critically Endangered.”
  7. Giant guitarfish populations are suspected to have declined up to 50% in some regions, but most are suffering population loss ranging from 80% to localized extinctions.
  8. The shortfin and longfin mako sharks—the fastest species of sharks and among the most iconic shark species—are both proposed for listings under CITES (Appendix II).
  9. It is estimated that mako shark populations have declined of 60-96% worldwide.
  10. Listing mako sharks, guitarfish and wedgefish under CITES will help regulate the global trade in shark fins, along with other products such as meat, to help prevent unsustainable and illegal trade from driving these ecologically critical predators toward extinction.