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Wildlife Conservation Society hosts Global Shark Conservation Meeting in Belize

Posted: Monday, February 26, 2024. 7:31 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Beginning today, Monday, more than 50 marine conservation experts from Mesoamerica and around the world, are meeting in Placencia, Stann Creek District, and at Glover’s Reef marine research station to talk about sharks.

More specifically, they are talking about preserving the ocean predators who in some cases have become the hunted due to overfishing.

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) reports that according to recent research, coastal mortality of sharks is increasing in many locations and is still deeply unsustainable given how slowly sharks grow and recover from human impacts on their populations, and despite a long-term strategy for the preservation of sharks that was established two years ago for a decade.

The meeting is intended to review the 2030 shark strategy, use of science to inform marine conservation work; address wildlife trafficking and ensuring enforcement of the ban on shark fin trading under the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and other topics.

The 5-day meeting, being held at Umaya Resort in Placencia includes a field trip to Glover’s Reef Research Station, scheduled for February 28, where Belize government officials will listen to details on how WCS’s work at Glover’s in Belize impacts sharks and wider ocean health in Belize; as well as how the work at Glovers can help develop measures to assist in the implementation of WCS’s global shark conservation strategy.

Based on the week’s discussions, the group, being led by Luke Warwick, WCS’s Director, Shark, and Ray Conservation, says they plan to revisit the WCS shark strategy, look at how new tools and research can be used to refine it, and from a week of collaboration and exchange, and viewing shark conservation on the water in Belize – forge new linkages to save these ancient predators from extinction.


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