Legal Wildlife trade is any sale or exchange of wild animal as well as plant resources by people legally. Wildlife trade is a major problem area between biodiversity conservation as well as human development. A huge proportion of our trade, economy as well as way of life is completely dependent upon wildlife products, whether for medicine, food, construction or culture .
Benefits of Legal Wildlife Trade
The wildlife crime and illegal trade usually conceals the legal and sustainable trade in wildlife products. It plays an undoubtedly elementary role in regional, national, and international economies. It involves many different fauna and flora species. And also provides a livelihood for millions of producers, raw materials for businesses and local collectors. Additionally it also provides goods for hundreds of millions of consumers.
The advantages of responsible, sustainable and legal wildlife trade are mostly going unnoticed. Because of which, there has been comparatively little attention or investment to ensure that wildlife trade is managed in ways that maintain healthy ecosystems and populations of target species.
Above all, massive rise in awareness, political will and action is required to ensure the future of species and products.
Because of consumer demand for their fins, meat, skin, and liver oil, there has been a massive global concern for shark and ray populations under pressure .
Previously, almost all fisheries have taken place in the absence of even the most basic forms of management. In 2014, the IUCN Shark Specialist Group assessed the conservation status of over 100 shark and ray species. Discovering that there is a huge lack of data on sharks and rays at large, they started the assessment. Additionally, a quarter are on verge of extinction, and over-fishing and habitat loss are the biggest threats to their survival .
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Conserving Sharks Through Sustainable and Legal Wildlife Trade
Undoubtedly that current level of catch and consumption of sharks poses a threat to survival of many species.
The past 20 years has seen rising recognition of the need to manage sharks and rays. Which means provisions should be made for trade-related management controls. Such as CITES to be put in place for a range of vulnerable species.
Large responsibility should be taken by stakeholders to establish the source of the products they are carrying and selling. Moreover, such rising awareness and strong action would represent a precious start on the road to sustainability. But, without greater political will from some major fishing nations that have a past history of blocking action to manage shark and ray fisheries at sustainable levels, all the good work by other governments will erode and depletion of these resources will continue. It is important, therefore, that commitment is made in binding measures by governments and regional organizations responsible for managing fisheries.
Instead of pursuing highly debatable and almost insuperable complicated policies such as shark fin bans, establishing and enforcing traceability systems and responsibly managed fisheries should be the focus. Above all, the greatest challenge lies with the consumer, in ensuring that any shark products are from sustainable sources.
The governments and stakeholders should check throughout supply chains. Additionally should ensure that this information is readily available, standards are scientifically set, and that regulations are properly enforced.
Ethical, Legal and Sustainable Trade in Wild Plants
Wild plants are commonly wildlife trade’s most unnoticed thing. The world has incredibly diverse array of wild plant ingredients, used in food, drink, pharmaceuticals, traditional medicine, beauty, cosmetics and beyond.
Moreover, their collection, processing and trade supports millions of collectors. Usually from some of the most poverty-stricken or distressed communities in the world, and underpins a global industry worth hundreds of billions of US dollars. Although this “hidden harvest” receives little attention from the public, and is usually met with enthusiasm from an increasingly “organically-minded” consumer market, it is a wildlife trade that urgently require increased attention, research and private sector commitments.
Sustainable, legal, and ethical wild plant harvesting can provide an alternative source of income to poor or distressed communities, providing both a livelihood as well as an incentive to conserve natural landscapes.
There are many of communities over the world who have been harvesting plants from the wild for generations. Above all, by supporting these activities we can protect invaluable traditional knowledge. Additionally, we can engage local stakeholders in contributing to wider wildlife conservation.
There are scores of examples where sustainable management of wild plants provides an incentive to simultaneously maintain the habitat of other wildlife species and wider ecosystems.
In China, FairWild implementation of schisandra berry harvesting is helping to protect the forests of the Giant Panda. In India, a project between FairWild and Pukka Herbs Ltd. is protecting bibhitaki and haritaki trees, the nesting home of the charismatic Great Hornbill.