Other conservation-minded countries are similarly heeding the call to protect sharks.
These countries are carrying the torch for porbeagle sharks, which are critically endangered in the Mediterranean Sea and northeast Atlantic. Three species of hammerheads-scalloped, great and smooth-are also on the roster. Great and scalloped hammerheads already are endangered, and smooth populations are declining.
When this convention last met in 2010, short-term economic gain took precedence over the long-term survival of a top predator that helps keep the ocean ecosystem in balance. But there is reason to hope momentum is shifting and this year will be different.
Brazil, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Croatia, Ecuador, Egypt, Honduras, Mexico, the United States and the European Union are all sponsoring the shark proposals. With their leadership, these shark species have a chance to make a comeback.
You can help save the ocean's top predator by joining the Shark Stanley campaign, a global student-led drive to persuade the delegates to protect more shark species. The campaign is collecting photos from people who favor protecting sharks. The photos will be presented at the treaty talks.