AUSTRALIA DECLINES TO EXTEND INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION TO SHARK SPECIES
The Australian government has declared it will not list 5 of the 31 species covered by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, which Australia consented to in November. The five species, all sharks, include two species of hammerheads and three species of threshers. Australia’s Environment Minister said the reservation from the Convention is necessary because the country’s domestic laws are stricter than required by the agreement, and the listing would result in unintended consequences and unreasonably harsh penalties for violations. Australian fishermen raised concerns about the protective status, with recreational fishermen claiming they catch and release the sharks, and commercial fishermen citing concerns about bycatch. For the full story, see http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/environmental-vandalism-conservationists-slam-government-decision-to-opt-out-of-shark-listing-20150120-12u8xm.html.