SEAFDEC officials attended the plenary session of the 31st Meeting of the Animals Committee (AC31) held on 31 May–4 June 2021 via videoconference. The AC31 was attended by experts as well as representatives from the Parties to CITES, observer Parties, and observer organizations. The Meeting discussed the progress of the Animals Committee at the last CoP18 and consideration before reporting the outcomes to the upcoming CoP19 in 2022. The Committee also discussed the conservation and trade status of the selected wild fauna were and addressed the technical issues related to the trade of CITES-listed wildlife. Furthermore, the other discussion was on species-specific matters including marine aquatic species such as sharks and rays, eels, sea turtles, seahorses, Banggai cardinalfish, marine ornamental fishes, and others.
In line with the agenda of AC31, SEAFDEC has been carrying out regional initiatives aimed at enhancing the management and sustainable utilization of commercially-exploited aquatic species such as sharks, rays, and eels in the Southeast Asian region. SEAFDEC also collaborated with CITES Secretariat to conduct the activities on improving national and regional statistics on shark landings and provide capacity building for national authorities in developing non-detriment findings for shark species.