In barely a week, Kenyan officials in the port town of Mombasa seized two shipments of ivory weighing more than 4.5 tons combined (Kenya Seizes More Smuggled Ivory Destined for Malaysia, July 9, Reuters). It is estimated that the ivory is the result of hundreds of poached elephants; some suspected to be over 50 years old based on their tusk size. To put this in perspective, an estimated 25,000 elephants are killed each year for their ivory.
The following Op/Ed is by Peter Knights, Co-Founder and Executive Director of WildAid.
If South Africa is looking to stop rhino poaching beyond improving the protection of Kruger National Park,where the majority of the problem is occurring, then it should revisit the successful 1990s crackdown on rhino horn markets rather than the disastrous "one off sale" model used in 2008 for ivory, which created the current poaching crisis for elephants across West, Central and Eastern Africa.
Urges federal government not to overturn state bans
As of midnight tonight the shark fin trade will be illegal in California, a leading market for the product in America. California will join Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, and Washington, as well as Guam, American Samoa, and Northern Mariana Islands, that have passed similar laws to protect sharks. However, these bans are in jeopardy due to a proposed clause to the federal Shark Conservation Act of 2010.
TO: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce
RE: NOAA-NMFS-2012-0092 Comments
These comments are submitted on behalf of WildAid, a registered US 501c3 charitable organization, its Board of Directors, and our members. WildAid focuses on addressing consumer demand for products from threatened wildlife, and has been working since 2000 to drive decreased consumption of shark fins.