A big year for shark and ray conservation

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This is a big year for sharks at the COP19 in Panama, as more than 60 species are being proposed for listing on CITES.

 

Sharks are traded globally for their meat, fins, cartilage, and increasingly for liver oil, which is used to produce squalene for cosmetics and other uses.

The trade of shark products is complex, and we are only beginning to understand how they move throughout global markets. What is clear, however, is that the trade is leading to big declines in shark and ray populations across the globe, with more than 1/3 of shark species being threatened with extinction due to overfishing.

 

Avoiding too many technicalities, the purpose of CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna And Flora) is to regulate the trade of species that are in danger of extinction. Every two to three years, the CITES parties, and the countries gather to review previous decisions and to make new proposals based on relevant information. This gathering is called the Conference of the Parties (COP), and next week, the 19th meeting of the COP will be held in Panama City, Panama.

 

This is a big year for sharks at the COP, as more than 60 species are being proposed for listing on CITES. The large number is because two of the proposals include a grouping of similar-looking species: 19 species of requiem sharks of the family Carcharhinidae and all hammerhead species of the Sphyrnidae family. Additionally, the remainder of the species in the Carcharhinidae family are proposed for listing as ‘lookalike’ species. This proposal is meant to bring the shark fin trade under stricter regulation.

 

In our region, the new listing would bring new protections to the Caribbean reef shark, which has shown big declines throughout its range. The bonnethead shark would also fall under this listing. If the lookalike requiem shark species are also listed, the new rules will apply to the vast majority of sharks currently traded in the Caribbean. While CITES does not regulate fishing practices, it would mean that countries exporting the meat and fins will be required to complete a Non-Detriment Finding (NDF) to legally trade the products.

 

An NDF is how a country or Party proves that a CITES Appendix II or III species can be sustainably exported. NDFs help Parties to consolidate all the information on the biology, threats, management, and population status of the species to determine if the export of the species products falls within CITES rules and meets the criteria for species persistence. In the past, this has been accomplished manually with oodles of paperwork and reference manuals and was often a long and exhausting experience. In 2019, with support from the German government, MarAlliance enabled the streamlining of the process by creating an automated template that the end users could modify themselves. Colleagues from Blue Resources Trust, an NGO based in Sri Lanka, built upon the template to produce a user-friendly online tool, reducing the time needed to complete an NDF. The template is tailored specifically for sharks and rays and has already been successfully adopted and implemented by several countries.

 

At MarAlliance we also create new knowledge by monitoring the abundance and characteristics of species of sharks and rays in the key sites where we work. In Panama, for example, we have trained local fishermen in communities around Coiba National Park, Darien, Bocas del Toro, and Guna Yala Comarca to help us at sea and engage our local communities to obtain information on sightings of important species. We share this knowledge in many different formats, for example through the IUCN shark specialist group to help inform international policy like CITES. Through this, we hope to contribute to the work with our colleagues toward an outcome that will support the rebuilding of populations of these iconic species for generations to come.

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Asistente de comunicación (Internship)

MarAlliance es una organización internacional sin ánimo de lucro registrada en EE.UU., Belice, Panamá y Cabo Verde, cuyo objetivo es explorar, facilitar e inspirar cambios positivos para la fauna marina amenazada, especialmente tiburones y rayas, sus hábitats críticos y las comunidades humanas dependientes. Nuestra misión es amplia y ambiciosa, y trabajamos en tres idiomas y en siete países de tres regiones. Ante el declive de muchas poblaciones de megafauna marina, estas especies necesitan una voz fuerte, eficaz y con base científica que las represente para ayudar a los socios dependientes a dar forma a las estrategias y acciones de gestión y conservación para invertir el declive.

Resumen del puesto:

Buscamos a un becario (6 meses) proactivo, con conocimientos digitales y excelente capacidad de redacción y edición de textos, que apoye la creación de contenidos escritos de alta calidad y recursos multicanal para difundir el trabajo que MarAlliance realiza a través de sus plataformas en línea (sitio web, redes sociales, boletín, entre otras) y fuera de línea, y que interactúe con nuestro público externo para contribuir a nuestros objetivos generales de comunicación y marketing. El Asistente de Comunicación dependerá directamente del Coordinador de Comunicación y Marketing, y trabajará en estrecha colaboración con el resto del equipo para apoyarles en los elementos de comunicación de su trabajo.

Las funciones y responsabilidades incluirán, entre otras, las siguientes:

  1. Proporcionar apoyo creativo, editorial y operativo a los proyectos. 
  2. Apoyo en la organización, etiquetado y etiquetado del archivo fotográfico y gestión del archivo de vídeo.
  3. Gestión de la comunidad: Gestionar activamente los canales de medios sociales, así como identificar nuevas tendencias y oportunidades de colaboración. Generar reels y visuales.
  4. Apoyo en la redacción de artículos de blog (SEO) y contenido de boletines. 
  5. Ayudar a construir y desarrollar materiales, herramientas y acciones para campañas (online y offline).
  6. Ayudar en diferentes tareas relacionadas con la comunicación trabajando mano a mano con contratistas externos (desarrollador web, diseñador gráfico…) para mejorar el compromiso de las audiencias externas.
  7. Apoyo en la elaboración de informes de campañas y comunicaciones (Google Analytics, métricas de redes sociales, informes de marketing por correo electrónico).
  8. Como parte del Equipo de Comunicación de MarAlliance, apoyar al Coordinador de Comunicación y Marketing en cualquier otro proyecto de comunicación, coherente con las habilidades y experiencia del titular del puesto, en circunstancias no rutinarias.

Experiencia, conocimientos y aptitudes requeridos:

  1. Licenciatura en comunicación, periodismo, marketing o cualquier disciplina relacionada.
  2. Experiencia en comunicación digital o marketing.
  3. Pasión e interés por la naturaleza, la vida marina y la conservación.
  4. Capacidad demostrada para redactar y presentar comunicaciones creativas.
  5. Presencia y conocimientos de medios sociales y digitales.
  6. Capacidad para realizar múltiples tareas y detectar buenas historias.
  7. Capacidad para trabajar a distancia y cumplir los plazos establecidos.
  8. Conocimientos de diseño gráfico deseables, pero no necesarios.
  9. Conocimientos de edición de vídeo deseables pero no necesarios. 

Salario y prestaciones:

Estipendio durante 6 meses.

Idiomas:

Español, con fluidez en inglés

Localización:

Este contrato será a distancia dentro de las zonas horarias de América, flexible, a tiempo completo y desde casa con hasta un 10% de viajes ocasionales locales e internacionales.

Cómo presentar la candidatura:

Por favor, envíe su currículum, portfolio si lo tiene, y carta de presentación a info@maralliance.org con “MAR-CA_Apellido” en el asunto antes del 21 de febrero, 2024. No se admiten llamadas.

Communications Assistant (Internship)

MarAlliance is an international non-profit registered in the US, Belize, Panama and Cabo Verde that aims to explore, enable and inspire positive changes for threatened marine wildlife – notably sharks and rays – their critical habitats and dependent human communities. Our remit is broad and ambitious, and we work in three languages and across seven countries encompassed by three regions. In the face of declines in many populations of marine megafauna, these species need a strong, effective, and science-based voice to represent them to help dependent partners shape management and conservation strategies and action to reverse declines.

Position summary:

We are seeking for a proactive, digitally savvy Paid Intern (6 month) Communications Assistant with excellent writing and copy editing skills, who will support the creation of high-quality written content and multichannel assets to broadcast the work MarAlliance does through its online (website, social media, newsletter, among others) and offline platforms, and engage with our external audiences to contribute to our overall communications and marketing goals. The Communications Assistant will directly report consistently to the Communications and Marketing Coordinator, and work closely with the rest of the team to support them on the communications elements of their work.

Duties and responsibilities will include but are not limited to:

  1. Provide creative, editorial, and operational project support. 
  2. Support organizing, labeling and tagging the photo archive and video archive management.
  3. Community Management: Actively manage social media channels, as well as identify new trends and collaboration opportunities. Generate reels and visuals.
  4. Support with writing blog articles (SEO) and newsletter content. 
  5. Help build and develop materials, toolkits, and actions for (online and offline) campaigns.
  6. Assist in different communications-related tasks working hand in hand with external contractors (web developer, graphic designer…) to improve the engagement of external audiences.
  7. Support in campaign and communications reporting (Google Analytics, social media metrics, email marketing reports)
  8. As part of the MarAlliance Communications Team, support the Communications and Marketing Coordinator with any other communications projects, consistent with the skills and expertise of the post holder, in non-routine circumstances.

Experience, Knowledge, and Skills Required:

  1. Bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, marketing or any related discipline.
  2. Experience working in digital communications and or marketing.
  3. Passion and interest for nature, marine life and conservation.
  4. Proven ability to write and deliver creative communications.
  5. Social Media and digital presence and knowledge.
  6. Ability to multitask and spot good stories.
  7. Capable of working remotely and meeting established deadlines.
  8. Graphic design skills are desirable but not required.
  9. Video editing skills are desirable but not required.

Salary and benefits:

Stipend for 6 month.

Language:

Spanish, with fluent English

Location:

This contract will be remote within the Americas time zones, flexible, full-time and home-based with up to 10% occasional local and international travel.

How to apply:

Please send your resume, portfolio if you have one, and cover letter to info@maralliance.org with “MAR-CA_Last name” in the subject line by 21st of February, 2024. No calls please.