Golden Gate University Law Review


This article examines whether, in the face of lax or nonexistent domestic and regional management, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and Wild Fauna and Flora ("CITES") can encourage and complement shark conservation efforts around the world. In particular, it focuses on spiny dogfish as a case study of concern. Low reproductive potential, well-documented depletion and persistent markets driving expanding international trade make spiny dogfish an excellent candidate for CITES attention. As discussed in Section II, CITES does not have an extensive history of regulating trade in marine fish species, and yet has given special attention to sharks and has even afforded protection to some shark species in recent years. Listings on the CITES Appendices, if adequately implemented as a complement to regional fisheries management, hold great promise for stemming depletion of spiny dogfish and other species of sharks in international trade. Securing such protection and associated fisheries management, however, presents many complicated challenges and in some cases may already be too late.