Shark Research Institute at CITES
(Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora)

CoP19 Nov 14 - 25, Panama Convention Center


CITES is an agreement between governments with the purpose to regulate the international trade of species of animals and plants to ensure they do not become extinct. The Conference of Parties (CoP) was penned in 1973 and the first CoP was held in 1975 with 80 initial governments participating. This week marks the 19th CoP and there are now 184 member nations participating voluntarily. CITES does not create laws but establishes an international framework for the participating nations to create their own domestic legislation in accordance with the CITES guidelines.


Shark Research Institute has been in attendance of CoPs since 2002 where our Executive Director, Marie Levine,  was instrumental in achieving Appendix II status for Whale sharks. She has built a reputation of being a stalwart supporter of shark protection. Over the decades, she has presented sound science, delivered with fiery diplomacy, to the parties, and has been instrumental in obtaining trade regulations for sharks at every conference.


For this conference, SRI’s Hawaii Regional Director, Charlie Fasano, and researcher, David McGuire, attended CoP19 to win support for two shark proposals. The most important is prop 37 which requests that all the remaining species of sharks in the family Carcharinidae, that are not already listed with CITES, be given Appendix II trade protections. The proposal includes all Carcharinidae with 19 lead species documented and the remaining to be included as look-alike species. David was instrumental in getting blue sharks added to the proposal since they were not originally listed due to fisheries pressure. To the dismay of Charlie, whose main research is with tiger sharks in Hawaii, this species was not included since it is now in its own separate family of Galeocerdonidae.

The other important proposal is prop 38 which requests that the remaining species of hammerhead sharks, with the bonnethead shark as the lead, also be afforded Appendix II protections.

Below are the material sheets SRI handed to the delegates to help win their support for propS 37 and 38. A huge THANK YOU goes to David McGuire for his diligent work on the content of the materials.

ON THE FINAL DAY OF CITES CoP19, Nov 25th 2022



One constant phrase we hear when working to save global shark populations….”All this work for a bowl of soup.”

(click to download pdf)