History in the Making

History was made for Sharks & Rays last night in Bangkok… and we wanted you to be among the first to hear the news. 5 highly traded species of sharks are now protected under CITES regulations! Plus Mantas and Sawfish!

The oceanic whitetip shark, porbeagle, three species of hammerheads, and both manta rays – all classified as threatened on the IUCN Red List — will now be added to CITES Appendix II, which prompts permits to ensure exports are sustainable and legal. The freshwater sawfish will be transferred from Appendix II to I, where all other sawfishes are listed, thereby completing a global ban on international commercial trade in these critically endangered species.

This is a huge victory and a testament to the ongoing dedication of all our friends and allies. Thanks to each and every one of you who helped rally the global dive community behind our shark campaign and fight this battle since 2010.

Time to Celebrate!

You can follow some of the excitement on our twitter feed and facebook page as well as on our website.

Thank you all for being part of this!!!

From the very proud and excited Project AWARE team!


Another Chance for Sharks and Rays? Act Now – Extinction is NOT an Option

If you’ve supported Project AWARE’s campaign, signed their shark petition or rallied shark support in your community – then this message is for you.

Nancy IDC
Nancy IDC, Egypt Red Sea #CITES4SHARKS

Today, we need your help. Please take a few moments and  send a letter direct to CITES leaders asking them to vote “Yes” for sharks and rays this March.

What we do in the next few weeks could make a difference for 11 sharks and rays on the brink. Project AWARE is working with their partners, pounding the pavement harder than ever in the run up to March. We’re meeting with CITES leaders face-to-face to help influence the votes. More than 120,000 shark petition signatures you helped to collect are making a strong argument for change. Now you can send a letter direct to CITES leaders, insisting on international protections for these critical species.

As dive professionals, we know, Extinction is NOT an Option. CITES is the world’s largest, most effective wildlife conservation agreement in existence. Thank you for helping Project AWARE secure the trade protections sharks and rays deserve. www.projectaware.org

CITES The count-down is on!!!!!


In a matter of days, officials from countries around the world will have a historic opportunity to protect a record number of sharks and rays – including oceanic whitetip sharks, hammerheads and manta rays. Project AWARE will be on the ground during the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES, held in Bangkok, Thailand, from 3 – 14 March. We’ll represent the voice of divers worldwide and ensure the world’s most vulnerable sharks and rays have a voice too. Follow Us.

Recently at the Polish Dive Show members were eager to add their names to the list to “Give Sharks a Fighting Chance” by signing the CITES petition.


Have you made a stand? Please ensure you sign the petition and pass on the message to your entire friends list by using the media links below to share this important message.

Stronger Shark Finning Ban Endorsed by European Parliament

Stronger Shark Finning Ban Endorsed by European Parliament
Stronger Shark Finning Ban Endorsed by European Parliament

Strasbourg, France. November 22, 2012.

Conservation groups are celebrating today’s European Parliament vote to close loopholes in the European Union ban on shark finning (slicing off a shark’s fins and discarding the body at sea), the culmination of six years of campaigning and debate.  Members of the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of the European Commission’s proposal to impose the best practice for finning ban enforcement: a prohibition on removing shark fins at sea. The measure faced formidable opposition from representatives of Spain and Portugal, Europe’s leaders in catch of oceanic sharks.

“Parliament’s overwhelming support for strengthening the EU finning ban represents a significant victory for shark conservation in the EU and beyond,” said Ali Hood, Shark Trust Director of Conservation. “Because of the EU’s influence at international fisheries bodies, this action holds great promise for combating this wasteful practice on a global scale.”

The EU banned finning in 2003, but the associated regulation includes loopholes that allow shark fins to be removed on board and landed separately from shark bodies, which hampers enforcement.

“We owe so much of our success to the tens of thousands of divers across Europe and beyond who voiced their concern for sharks,” said Suzanne Pleydell, Director for Project AWARE Foundation in Europe. “By demonstrating the economic benefits of sound shark stewardship, divers brought new EU Member States to the debate to support a stronger finning policy that reflects the values of the entire European Union, not just its shark fishing powers.”

Parliament’s final report now goes to the EU Council of Ministers and Commission as part of the process to finalize the regulation. Conservation groups stressed that finning bans alone are insufficient to save sharks.

“Strong finning bans are fundamental to effective shark fisheries management and particularly important for shark fishing powers like the EU, but our work is far from done,” said Sonja Fordham, President of Shark Advocates International. “We urge swift finalization of the amended finning regulation, and remain committed to securing additional, complementary safeguards including science-based limits on shark catch and trade.”

The groups are turning their sights to the next big battleground for sharks: the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) whose Parties meet in March to consider proposals to list commercially valuable, threatened shark species, including porbeagles, hammerheads, and oceanic whitetips.  Proponents for listing include the EU and U.S.

Media contact: Liz Morley (+1 843.693.5044) or Hannah Tarrant (hannah@sharktrust.org).

Notes for Editors:

Shark Advocates International is a project of The Ocean Foundation established to advance science-based policies for sharks and rays.

The Shark Trust is the UK charity for shark conservation, working to advance the worldwide conservation of sharks through science, education, influence and action.

Project AWARE Foundation is a growing movement of scuba divers protecting the ocean planet – one dive at a time.

Shark Advocates International, Shark Trust, and Project AWARE are working as part of a new coalition with Wildlife Conservation Society, Humane Society International, and the German Elasmobranch Society to secure CITES protections for sharks and rays.