This week, representatives from 180 countries meet for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). A landmark achievement of this most recent convention is the potential protection of a dozen species of sharks and rays, including the world’s fastest shark, the mako shark. 

Luke Warwick, associate director for sharks and rays at the Wildlife Conservation Society said, “Sharks and rays are among the most threatened species on our planet and momentum is clearly building to ensure that these species, which have been around for 400 million years, continue to be around for future generations.”

Despite strong support for the measure, there was some backlash from countries, such as Japan, which claims shark hunting to be a vital part of their heritage. Click the link below to learn more about the CITES convention and its final protection voting which will take place later this week.