(Photo: Kindly using the Divers for Sharks brooch as a sign of recognition
towards our work, the Brazilian Secretary of
Biodversity, José Pedro de Oliveira Costa, signs the MoU Sharks at the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species in Manila, Philippines, October 2017. )
One of the major difficulties for the conservation of sharks at the global level is the lack of areements specifically focused on their conservation. And one of the great recent developments in this has been the creation of the Memorandum of Understanding for the Conservation of Sharks - MoU Sharks - of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), a modern treaty of the United Nations system that focuses its efforts not on fishing, or in extractivism, but in the CONSERVATION of endangered migratory species and their habitats.
In October 2017, Divers for Sharks won a major victory by getting the Brazilian government to join MoU Sharks during the biennial CMS meeting in Manila, Philippines. With this, the Brazilian government has taken on a series of obligations and activities that, as we know, are going much slower than we would like but are happening, such as the consideration of sharks in the initiatives of new marine protected areas.
Divers for Sharks has now been admitted to the Convention system as a Cooperating Partner of MoU Sharks - the first Brazilian organization to receive this distinction. With that, we will gain more space in the MoU and the Convention to promote the non-extractive use of sharks and rays through Diving and Ecotourism as an alternative to indiscriminate fishing that still threatens these magnificent animals across the planet. One of the first initiatives we want to develop is an up-to-date global survey of the importance of scuba diving and sharks and their declaration as a priority activity, overcoming the lobby of fishing mafias that always act in international forums to make the interests of fishing prevail.
For this to take effect, however, we must first be present at the next MoU Sharks Signatory Meeting to be held in Monaco next December, to formally sign our Partnership accreditation and organize a side event on the non-extractive use of sharks. And, as always, we will work for free as D4S volunteers, but we need to raise funds for travel and accommodation.