6 May 2011 - Ambassador Jorge O'Ryan Schütz
from the Embassy of Chile in Berlin signed the CMS Memorandum
of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Sharks
during his visit to the CMS Secretariat in Bonn. Chile’s
signature brings the number of countries that have signed
the Memorandum to 15.
CMS’s first global conservation instrument - and
the first of its kind regarding sharks - was concluded in
February 2010. It covers currently 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.
Among the 53 shark species in Chilean waters - the White
Shark, Whale Shark, Basking Shark, Porbeagle, Shortfin Mako
and Longfin Mako are covered by the CMS Shark MoU.
A bill is currently being discussed in Parliament, which
aims to set standards for national biodiversity conservation
of sharks and shark fisheries as well as for long term sustainable
use through a finning ban and new measures to reduce bycatch.
In a first constitutional step, it was approved by the Senate
on March 23.
It prohibits the practice of shark finning and the landing
of fins, unless they are naturally attached to the trunk.
A respective fishing permit is required too. It also provides
for the use of devices to prevent bycatch and the presence
of observers on board of vessels. Breaching the law will
entail penalty according to the General Law on Fisheries
The initiative complements the national Action Plan as
well as conservation efforts to be undertaken under the
CMS Shark MoU. A permanent fishing ban has been imposed
regarding the critically endangered Whale Shark, Basking
Shark and Great White Shark, which are included on CMS Appendix
I. Since 2006, a series of investigations has been conducted
to fill knowledge gaps regarding shark populations in Chilean
The signing of the Shark MoU is embedded in the broader
context of national conservation efforts focusing on marine
species such as cetaceans, pinnipeds, penguins and marine
turtles. Sightings, photo identification and satellite transmitters
have been used for cetacean research projects.
During the meeting, activities undertaken by Chile in
the framework Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation
of the High Andean Flamingo, the Rudded-headed Goose, the
Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels
and more recently the South Andean Deer MoU were discussed.
Fact Sheet provided by the Government of Chile (Spanish)