Oceanic whitetip shark (Norbert Probst/Imagebroker/FLPA RM

On Sept. 14, five species of sharks and two species of manta ray will be protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), an international agreement between governments.

The new species, included in Appendix II of the agreement, are now subject to strict international trade controls. The marine dwellers are not all necessarily threatened with extinction, but trade is controlled to protect the survival of their populations as a whole.

A workshop ahead of the new listings is being held this week in Chennai, India, where the illegal shark fin trade still flourishes. In a video announcement shared at the meeting, CITES secretary general John Scanlon said, "We are moving from theory to practice," referring to implementation of the new listings. He indicated that multiple entities -- from governments to conservation groups -- are coming together for the effort.

The oceanic whitetip shark is one of the five new listed sharks. According to a CITES fact sheet, the fins of this shark "are in demand and of high value on the international market."

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Porbeagle shark (Andy Murch/Elasmodiver.com

One of the main reasons the porbeagle shark is at risk is because it supposedly tastes good. Its flavor and texture have been compared to veal.

According to the organization Shark Advocates, "The porbeagle is a globally threatened, low-productivity shark that has been seriously overfished in major parts of its range primarily for international trade in meat and fins...CITES Appendix II listing is warranted to facilitate compliance with relevant fishing restrictions and establishment of science-based export limits, thereby complementing national and regional efforts toward recovery and sustainable use."

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Scalloped hammerhead shark (Stacy Jupiter

Scalloped hammerhead sharks are usually killed for fins, but its meat is also eaten in certain countries, according to CITES.

"We estimate that many millions of sharks are killed annually through both legal and illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing for the trade in fins, the prime ingredient in shark fin soup," Rachel Graham, director of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Gulf and Caribbean Sharks and Rays Program, told Discovery News. "The high price for fins has caused the global shark fishery to expand far beyond what is sustainable. The need for international regulation and enforcement has never been greater."

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Smooth hammerhead shark (Corbis

The smooth hammerhead shark is yet another new species to be added to the CITES agreement. Sharks already protected by the agreement are the basking (Cetorhinus maximus), whale (Rhincodon typus) and great white (Carcharodon carcharias) sharks. The agreement also lists seven species of sawfishes, which are closely related to sharks.

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Great hammerhead shark (Josh Hallett, Wikimedia Commons

Both species of manta ray -- the reef and the giant oceanic manta ray -- will gain the international trade protections. The reef manta ray is among the world's largest fish, measuring up to 18 feet at its wingspan and 16 feet in length, not including the tail.

"Skin, cartilage and gill rakers are the main products in international trade," according to CITES. Gill rakers are bony, comb-like structures that help manta rays feed on tiny prey. In Asia, folklore holds that consumption of gill rakers treats everything from chicken pox to cancer, but such claims have not been supported by scientific studies.

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Reef manta ray (Wikimedia Commons

Both species of manta ray -- the reef and the giant oceanic manta ray -- will gain the international trade protections. The reef manta ray is among the world's largest fish, measuring up to 18 feet at its wingspan and 16 feet in length, not including the tail.

"Skin, cartilage and gill rakers are the main products in international trade," according to CITES. Gill rakers are bony, comb-like structures that help manta rays feed on tiny prey. In Asia, folklore holds that consumption of gill rakers treats everything from chicken pox to cancer, but such claims have not been supported by scientific studies.

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Giant oceanic manta ray (Jon Hanson, Wikimedia Commons

The "giant" in this ray's name is well deserved, as the species can grow to a width of 30 feet. Giant oceanic manta rays, like the other mentioned species, are threatened by human-created pollution (such as plastics, which the rays may ingest), climate change, tourism practices, by-catch and more. This is all in addition to being specifically targeted by fishermen.

Giant oceanic manta rays are listed as "vulnerable" on the IUCN's Red List of Endangered Species, but it's hoped that their addition to CITES will add another layer of protection.

As Russell Mittermeier, president of Conservation International, said, "CITES is our most important international agreement in protecting a wide range of species against the illegal wildlife trade, which is comparable to the drug trade in global proportions and negative impact."