The critically endangered scalloped hammerhead and vulnerable white shark are both listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), yet only the white shark is showing any population stabilization. This thesis draws on CITES trade data, expert interviews, and content analyses to explain these divergent outcomes and shed light on CITES' strengths and weaknesses. I find that the scalloped hammerhead is a challenging species to manage because it is valuable commercially and for subsistence. My research affirms two themes in political ecology literature on CITES and species loss. First, CITES is limited in its ability to manage species traded from the Global South for various reasons, many of which stem from conditions of socio-economic inequality. Second, the scalloped hammerhead exemplifies a "tragedy of the commodity," which is difficult for CITES to address given that its framework is built on the licensing of species commodification.
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Thesis advisor: Collard, Rosemary
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