Tuesday, September 25, 2012

CITES: What is it and what do they do?

What is CITES? We’ve all heard of it I’m sure, but not all of us completely understand what it is. To start off, CITES stands for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which was formed in 1975. It is an international agreement between governments with the aim to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plans does not threaten their survival. Due to the fact that the trade in wild animals and plants crosses borders between countries, the effort to regulate it requires international cooperation to make sure the species are not over exploited.  How do they do that, you ask? Well, that’s a great question!

According to their website, “CITES works by subjecting international trade in specimens of selected species to certain controls.” Basically, all imports and exports of species covered by the convention have to be authorized through a licensing system. Each party (or country) to the convention has to designate one or more Management Authorities who will be in charge of administering the systems, and they also have to have scientific authorities to advise them on the effects of trade on the species.

Now, on their website it states that the species covered by CITES are listed in three appendices, which are according to the degree of protection they need. In Appendix I, species threatened with extinction are included and trade of these species is only permitted in exceptional circumstances. In Appendix II, species that are not necessarily threatened with extinction are listed but, trade must be controlled in order to avoid problems with their survival.

So now, I’m sure your next question would be, how do they figure which species to put in these two Appendices, right? Another excellent question!  They have a set of biological and trade criteria to help determine whether a species should be included in either Appendix I or II. So then, in each regular meeting, parties (countries) submit proposals based on the criteria stated above in order to amend the two Appendices; they are then discussed and put into a vote.
In Appendix III, species that are protected in at least one country are placed. Notice, however, that changes to Appendix III follow a different procedure from the two prior appendices. Each party (country) is entitled to make unilateral amendments to it, meaning they can make changes to it without the consent of all of the other parties (countries) but they can only do this if proper documentation has been obtained and presented. 

There are many rules and restrictions for all of the species in all of the Appendices, but as always, there are exceptions to the rules. Here are the exceptions, straight from the CITES website:
  • for specimens in transit or being transhipped [see Resolution Conf. 9.7 (Rev. CoP15)];
  • for specimens that were acquired before CITES provisions applied to them (known as pre-Convention specimens, see Resolution Conf. 13.6);
  • for specimens that are personal or household effects [see Resolution Conf. 13.7 (Rev. CoP14)];
  • for animals that were ‘bred in captivity’ [see also Resolution Conf. 10.16 (Rev.)];
  • for plants that were ‘artificially propagated’ [see also Resolution Conf. 11.11 (Rev. CoP15)];
  • for specimens that are destined for scientific research;
  • for animals or plants forming part of a travelling collection or exhibition, such as a circus [see also Resolution Conf. 12.3 (Rev. CoP15)].

The Structure of CITES

Given that these are exceptions, does not mean they go without any laws. There are special rules and regulations in those cases and a permit or certificate will usually still be required. Now you are asking yourself, what happens when a specimen is transferred to a country that is a participating party from a country that is not? Another fabulous question! When that happens, the country that is a party can accept documentation equivalent to permits and certificates. See, that was simple!

So there you have it – a quick and concise explanation of what CITES is, and what they do! Stay tuned to the next blog where I will go deeper into CITES choices on placing Hammerhead sharks on their lists. 

By Susana Navajas

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday Mornings in Malibu

Malibu Climate Conditions:

High Temperature: 80
Sea Temperature: 69
Surf: 1-2  Feet
Shark Sightings: None.

Thanks to OCEARCH, you can track great white sharks around the world.

Author: Adam

- "Mother Nature needs her vital signs checked just as much as humans do."

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday Mornings in Malibu

Malibu Climate Conditions:

High Temperature: 78
Sea Temperature: 69
Surf: 1-3 Feet
Shark Sightings: None.

This week, scientists in Cape Cod just tagged and released a great white shark.
Here is the link:

Author: Adam

- "Mother Nature needs her vital signs checked just as much as humans do."

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Meet Adam New SSF Blogger "Monday Mornings in Malibu"

My name is Adam. I am a new blogger to Sea Save Foundation. Once I heard about Sea Save's work, I wanted to become involved. I am passionate about the ocean and the effects it has on marine life and humans. Since I was a young kid, I enjoyed watching the Discovery Channel's research on ocean wildlife including dolphins, sharks, seals, whales and other fish. My weekly blog, "Monday Mornings in Malibu" will highlight Malibu California's temperature and local shark sightings in the area. If anyone has ideas to expand my blog, please let me know. I am always open to new suggestions.

Thank you.



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sea Save Foundation Proud Content Contributor to New Film about the Tuna Industry

Thanks to the hard work of Billi-Jean Parker and Susan Scott for producing this awesome film!

"Global tuna stocks are down by 90% or so they have been saying for a while now, but we still see shelves and shelves of tinned tuna in our shopping centres. Internationally, sushi is readily available with tuna in it. So what is the problem? The blue-fin tuna, one of the ocean's top predators is the most threatened although it is not fished in South Africa. We in SA, have yellow-fin, albacore and skipjack species of tuna that have different lifecycles and are generally fished more sustainably here. Unfortunately, this may not be the case when blue-fin tuna has been fished to extinction... the rest of the species may then see the same fate. People are greedy. In South Africa, the tuna we pull out of the ocean does not make its way into our tins and onto our plates. So where does our tinned tuna come from? And how can we guarantee the fishing methods were safe and sustainable. What are the different fishing methods? What difference does it make how or where the fish are caught? How can we as the consumers dictate what we want to eat? 50|50 goes to sniff out if there's something fishy happening!"

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Wave Rave 2012

Hello, I am Lynda Whitbread and this is my first ever blog so apologies if it is not that good :) However I wanted to write something about my Wave Rave weekend to thank all my family, friends and colleagues who supported and helped me, as well as those who took part in the various events here in Essex (UK), over the few days.

Though the Wave Rave officially was the weekend of August 25th & 26th, we managed to stretch the event a little longer. Firstly my brother in law Ian organised an exciting and successful charity quiz night in aid of Sea Save Foundation on Wednesday August 24th raising both awareness and donations for Sea Save. Well done Ian and a great start!

Friday August 24th continued with three separate events. Firstly, my wonderful colleagues in the Brentwood office dressed down for the day to raise more money for Sea Save and help get the message out that we must protect our oceans and the diverse marine life within them. At the same time, Ian's colleagues also dressed down at his workplace with the same aim and conviction. Fantastic!

Brentwood staff dressed down for the Wave Rave 2012

However I had the hardest job of all.  I had to travel to Dublin and Wave Rave (Dublin style) with some of my amazing Irish colleagues.  Tough job I know, but someone had to do it!!!! After some important meetings and work during the day, my colleagues and I went for a very lovely Italian meal and of course, a few drinks.  During the evening, we all took part in a 'making Ravioli' competition and though I am a totally useless cook, I won and got a bottle of wine for my trouble!!!! To be honest I did have some help from two of my more food talented colleagues. Wave Raving in Dublin is an art and requires stamina, dancing and a lot  of FUN!!!! Luckily my flight home was Saturday afternoon so I was able to have a lie in.

My Irish colleagues and I before we went out in Dublin!

Winners - With my bottle of wine

This brings me nicely to Saturday August 25th. Whilst many wonderful people around the globe were hosting amazing events, and I was slowly making my way home, colleagues Carolyn Clark and Nicola Hewitt, together with their families and other co-workers went to see Peter Pan at the Palace theatre in Southend. Though the weather was very British (lots of rain!), they were very happy to stay afterwards and get a picture to promote Sea Save.  Well done all!

Sunday 26th August was then upon us and it was time for the Sea Save Foundation Wave Rave 2012 party at my house.  All the key elements were there; fabulous guests, food, music, dancing and yes, drink.  I think I may get a reputation here!!! The party was a lot of fun and raised yet more monies for Sea Save. Ocean awareness was key with photos of the beautiful marine animals, mixed with some less nice pictures to show what unfortunately is happening such as shark finning, were on a slide show throughout the event.  I also did a quick 5 minute talk about Sea Save and the need for ocean conservation. The Wave Rave 2012 video narrated by the very talented Erick Avari was also shown. A great night! A BIG thanks to my sister Donna, and brother in laws Ian and Tony for all their help in arranging the party! Thanks also to my two beautiful nieces for taking photos and filming the event.

Monday August 27th was a bank holiday here in the UK so provided a well-earned rest for many of us, including me!

Overall the Wave Rave weekend was a success in my neck of the woods, as it was across the globe.  A MASSIVE  thank you to everyone who hosted or participated in any way in the Wave Rave 2012.  Remember it's your ocean; thank you for doing something about it!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday Mornings in Malibu

Hey Everyone! This is my new weekly blog. Every Monday I am blogging about the climate conditions in Malibu.

Malibu Conditions
Air High Temperature:  83
Water Temperature:  69
Surf:  1-2 Feet
Local Shark Sightings:  None

Whether you're a surfer or an avid fan of planet earth, getting to know you local forecast is important to tracking weather patterns that affect all of us. 

Author: Adam

- "Mother Nature needs her vital signs checked just as much as humans do."

Thursday, September 6, 2012

New Blogger! Susana Navajas.

Hello everyone! My name is Susana and i am a guest blogger on this wonderful site for the amazing Sea Save! Just a quick little explanation on who i am and why i am here so that you can all get to know me a little better. I have loved the ocean since i was a little girl; after all, i was born in an island! When i was about 10 years old i had an experience with a dolphin that forever changed my life and it was from that moment that i knew i wanted to help protect them and all of the living creatures of the seas. I began doing research on alligators and sharks in 2006 and i did that for 3 years and that's what got me into conservation, particularly sharks. I've begun my own local grassroots organization and i have done a tremendous amount of work with local, nationwide and worldwide shark organizations! It is my goal to spread the word about the troubles our oceans are in but always making sure i do it in a fun, and positive way! I can't wait to learn more from Sea Save and i also can't wait to connect with all of you! Feel free to shoot me a tweet at, @SeaSaveTweet . In the photo below, that was me doing some grassroots work for a local shark organization!

Talk soon!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New Zealand Wave Rave
Hosted By "Our World Underwater - Rolex" Scholar Anthea Bell

Anthea Ibell, 22, was born and raised in Christchurch, New Zealand. From an early age she had ample access to the ocean on holidays, when the family would all head to a holiday house in Marlborough Sounds. Days out on the boat would occasionally gain spectacular views of pods of dolphins, and while walking on the jetties she kept her eyes peeled for sting rays and starfish.
Over the summer of 2007 Anthea enrolled in a PADI course. Her love of diving led to the completion of the Rescue Diver Course and PADI Open Water Instructor courses. These courses developed both her physical and mental abilities, often diving in challenging conditions and winter temperatures. By the end of 2008 Anthea had gained her Divemaster, Open Water Instructor, and five Specialty Instruct certificates-- including night, deep, digital underwater photography, wreck and AWARE Fish ID.
In 2009 Anthea spent four months travelling around North and South America. Diving in Ilha Grande, Brazil was her introduction to tropical ocean environments; the lagoons were picturesque with a variety of sea life including puffer fish, sea snakes, and sea turtles. Travelling allowed her to meet extraordinary people and opened her eyes to different cultures and world views. The biodiversity of the different countries excited Anthea’s interest and upon returning home she quickly returned to university to gain a Bachelor of Science in Zoology, with a Minor in Archaeology, at Otago University in New Zealand. She also has continued to work as a dive instructor and is pursuing her interest in photography. 

Anthea’s passion for the ocean is fuelled by the idea that these wonders might not always be here. Her aim is to educate people about the vulnerability of the ocean environment through programs such as Conservation Awareness week, Project AWARE beach and underwater clean up days and generally in her everyday life. She is passionate about including routines in our lifestyles such as recycling, reusing and conserving our resources. 

The Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society’s Rolex Scholarship will allow Anthea to bring all her interests together through marine research, SCUBA diving, photography and travel. She aims to contribute to conservation work around the world and increase public awareness about threats facing the oceans today.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Over 250 People Sign Up to Host Wave Rave!

People from all over the world signed up to participate in the 2012 Wave Rave celebration!  We are so thankful for everyone's participation and energy!  If you have not already sent your images/ video / essays please forward to our fabulous Wave Rave Project Manager, Lynda Whitbread at WaveRave@seasave.org!  We look forward to doing it all again next year!