CITES COP19 Side Event. CITES and Fisheries: Partnerships for legal, sustainable and traceable trade in commercially exploited aquatic species

Background:

Over the past decade, CITES Parties have agreed to list an increasing number of commercially exploited and managed aquatic species (eg sharks, rollers, sea cucumbers and conch) in Appendix II of the Convention. The implementation of CITES in the context of fisheries is more essential than ever to ensure legal, sustainable and traceable maritime trade.

At the international level, the CITES Secretariat cooperates with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean Countries (OECS ) to improve understanding of the interrelationship between CITES and fisheries legal regimes and build capacity for CITES-compliant trade. In 2020, FAO and CITES published a Legal Study and Guide entitled Implementing CITES through national fisheries legal frameworks: a study and a guide to provide guidance for CITES Parties in exploring of their national fisheries legal frameworks can enhance their fisheries management regime and a simultaneous contribution to the implementation of CITES.

In the Eastern Caribbean, the joint UNCTAD-OECS-CITES Blue BioTrade project aims to empower small-scale farmers and fishermen to sustainably trade queen conch products. This project led to the adoption of the first OECS Blue BioTrade regional plan of action for the queen conch value chain in the Eastern Caribbean.

At the national level, deeper links and cooperation between CITES and fisheries authorities are crucial for the proper implementation of the Convention through national fisheries legal frameworks. This side event will share guidance, experiences and lessons learned, providing a forum for discussion on adequate CITES implementation in the fisheries sector.

Refreshments will be provided.

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