Namely, a majority of countries attending the CMS Sharks Memorandum of Understanding (CMS Sharks MOU), in Monaco, aspired to collaborate in order to conserve the blue shark. Yet, Australia, New Zealand, the U.S. and South Africa were against the proposal, and so the species was denied.
Despite the lack of any sort of conservation-based management, the proposal was rejected for listing because there was not much data suggesting major declines. According to Humane Society International, the rejection of the blue shark is a negative result for the species.
Moreover, the meeting did see six new species of sharks and rays added to the sharks MOU. The angelshark, dusky shark, the common guitarfish, the bottlenose wedgefish, the oceanic whitetip shark and the smooth hammerhead will now be listed for conservation through the MOU.
Humane Society International and all other NGOs that attended, spoke in favour of listing of all seven species up for protection at the CMS meeting, and will keep on advocating for the blue shark to be conserved around the world despite the outcome of the CMS Sharks MOU.
Robert Calcagno, Director of the Museum for Oceanography in Monaco, stated that Sharks symbolize the lack of understanding of the underwater world, which feeds on fear of the unknown. More than any other marine animal, they maintain a nefarious reputation, inspiring fear in many among those who know them the least and the fascination of the divers who come into contact them.
He continued stating that they symbolize the hunger that can take hold of humans and be quickly devastating, as is the case of those large animals that dominated the oceans for millions of years before being decimated by a sudden craze for soup.
Finally, Lawrence Chlebeck, Marine Campaigner at Humane Society International addressed that Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) do not take actions to protect the blue sharks.