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Australia Signs CMS Shark MOU

17 March 2011: Australia has signed the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Conservation of Migratory Sharks, raising the number of signatories to 14.  

The Memorandum, the first of its kind regarding sharks, was concluded in February 2010. It covers seven shark species listed on the CMS Appendices: Basking Shark, Great White Shark, Whale Shark, Shortfin and Longfin Mako Shark, Porbeagle, and Northern hemisphere populations of the Spiny Dogfish. All species except the Spiny Dogfish occur in Australian waters.

The goal of the MOU, according to the CMS, is the restoration and long-term viability of populations of migratory sharks. Sharks are among the most commercially exploited species. A Conservation Plan is currently being developed under the leadership of the United States, for adoption by the First Meeting of Signatory States in 2012. [CMS Press Release] [Australian Government Fact Sheet]