Celebrating the listing of the whale shark and the white-spotted wedgefish on CMS Appendices #CMSCOP12
October 26, 2017, Manila, Philippines. The Government of the Philippines' proposal to list the whale shark (Rhincodon typus) in Appendix I and the white-spotted wedgefish (Rhynchobatus australiae) in Appendix II of the Convention on Migratory Species (UNEP-CMS) has been successful. A decision that will mean better international protection for both species.
Congratulations and thanks go to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources for continuing to be a world leader in whale shark conservation. The Philippines initially protected the whale shark in 1998, a move that today, has led to the country hosting the third largest known aggregation of whale sharks in South East Asia. Research by LAMAVE and the Marine Megafauna Foundation investigating the movements of whale sharks through satellite telemetry has shown that whale shark make large-scale movements across the archipelago. Furthermore a report led by Dr Simon Pierce for the IUCN Shark Specialist Group highlighted the danger whale sharks face outside of Philippine boundaries, with the biggest threat being fisheries operating in the region. The listing of the species on Appendix I of CMS will ensure steps are taken to better protect the species as it moves across international boundaries.
The listing of the white-spotted wedgefish on Appendix II will ensure international agreements are made for their conservation and management, which will significantly benefit this migratory species. This proposal was strongly supported by in-country and international NGOs (pictured in the gallery below), with Vince Cinches from Greenpeace Philippines making a statement to support the Philippine Government on their proposal.