VISUAL IDENTIFICATION OF LISTED SPECIES
The CITES listed shark and ray species are easily identified in their most commonly traded form, dried and unprocessed fins. To assist Parties effectively implement their CITES obligations, the FAO, NOAA and The Pew Charitable Trusts, among others, have each created visual identification guides that can assist enforcement and fisheries officials identify these species in trade.
Visual identification guides are available in English, French, Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic.
Visual identification is the most commonly used technique to identify shark products in trade, but to verify suspected CITES listed fins, or in the case of processed fins or meat, genetic testing is often needed.
Depending on the number of samples needed to test and how processed or degraded the samples are, three approaches have been created to identify whether products are sources from CITES listed shark and ray species.
Genetic protocols have been created for all CITES listed species, and are being created for the species proposed for listing at CoP18.
Non Detriment finding tutorials
In addition to the creation of tools to identify CITES listed shark species in trade, multiple governments and organizations have developed guidelines to assist in the creation of non-detriment findings, or NDFs. NDFs are required for Parties to demonstrate that their trade in the sharks and rays listed on Appendix II of CITES is both legal and capped at sustainable levels. In addition, several CITES Parties have shared their NDFs as examples for other countries to replicate.