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After a whole day working with the ROV and a couple of interesting dives, during which we saw groups of orange roughies, we return to port. We hear thumping sounds coming from the horizon as we get close to the dock. It’s Saint John’s Day, the night of bonfires to celebrate the beginning of summer. Some people think celebration means turning up the decibels and sowing the beach with plastic, including bottles, bags, cans and other garbage. No comment.

Today it’s all about last-day expectations. All important discussions have been put off for today’s plenary. The reopening of the bluefin tuna, sharks and corals debates will depend upon the support of the parties. Today we may obtain more protection for more species… or be doomed to lose them.

Finally CITES failed to ban the international trade of Atlantic bluefin tuna and implement international trade regulations for eight shark species and 31 species of red and pink coral, all of which are essential to the oceans, livelihoods and local economies. A tragedy for the Oceans.

Today all four shark proposals were debated. Unfortunately, only one was approved. The proposals to protect hammerhead sharks, oceanic whitetips and the spurdog were rejected. The good news is that the proposal to protect the porbeagle was agreed! This is a large, migratory and warm blooded shark. It´s meat is heavily consumed in Europe. The CITES listing (in Appendix II) means that the species traded will only come from sustianable and healthy populatons.

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