The oceanic whitetip shark (OWT) is under significant pressure from multiple fisheries throughout its range. This species is often caught as bycatch as well as targeted for its large fins. Several protective measures have been put in place in recent years in an effort to protect OWT populations in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. In 2012, the landing of OWT was banned by the IATTC. In 2013 the OWT was listed under Appendix II of CITES and since 2014 a non-detrimental use finding (NDUF) is required to export OWT products from nations operating in the Eastern Pacific under the 2012 IATTC mandate. Despite these measures, however, populations continue to decline. Since the 2012 IATTC ban, reported landings of OWT have dropped to 0, suggesting false reporting. As many regulations to protect sharks are geared toward data collection, the occurrence of invalid data such as this has further hindered conservation efforts. OWT fins also continue to be shipped illegally. In 2014, after the IATTC ban was put in place oceanic whitetip pectoral shark fins were found inside a 40kg sack of silky shark fins in the exporting terminal of UPS in Costa Rica’s international airport. Future regulations should be geared towards reduction of fisheries induced mortality as well as stricter trade bands. Listing the OWT under the United States Endangered Species Act could potentially provide a powerful tool to reduce the use of United States ports to transport OWT shark fins to Hong Kong, which is already illegal for nations operating in the Eastern Pacific under the IATTC mandate. The OWT has been listed as vulnerable on the IUCN redlist since 2006. Regulations thus far have proven ineffective in reducing population declines. If further action by governing bodies is not taken, we may soon find the oceanic whitetip classification is changed to endangered. #actnow #oceanicwhitetip #letlive #GameOverFishing #savethesharks #sharksmatter Photo by @gerardodelvillar #NakaweAmbassador you can help save them from #extinction

 Write your support for listing them as a threatened species under the endangered species protection act. #NakaweWarriors #OceanicWhitetip #Noaa


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