International measures for the continued protection of sharks have received a boost following the announcement that delegates from 39 signatories have unanimously agreed to add 22 additional shark and ray species to the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Sharks (Sharks MOU).
The Sharks MOU is an international initiative aimed at collaboration around the conservation of migratory sharks to which New Zealand is the most recent signatory, having signed up in July last year.
Scott Gallacher, MPI Deputy Director General, Regulation and Assurance said: "Migratory shark species grow slowly, mature late and produce few offspring. Because of these factors they can be vulnerable to overexploitation.
"This latest outcome is very good news as it demonstrates the ongoing support of the 39 signatories of the Sharks MOU to increasing research and understanding of an additional 22 species of sharks and rays.
"This level of international co-operation working to support and understand the issues faced by these species of shark and ray is good news and constitutes an agreement that New Zealand, through the work of MPI, is committed to supporting."