The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. Although CITES is legally binding on the Parties, now 180, it does not take the place of national laws. Rather it provides a framework to be respected by each Party, which has to adopt its own domestic legislation to ensure that CITES is implemented at the national level. Belize was previously Party to CITES as part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland since October 31, 1976. It joined as an independent nation on September 21, 1981.CITES Belize is composed of the Management Authority made up of forest and fisheries officers and the Scientific Authority comprised of various members from the different fields of expertise. The Fisheries Department is responsible for all aquatic related species transactions. Two thousand seven hundred and fifty seven Queen Conch, Strombus gigas, pearls were exported in 2014 (figure 18) to various countries (figure 19). S. gigas is in Appendix II of the Convention. On September 14, 2014, five shark and two ray species were also listed in Appendix II. On the same date the CITES introduction-from-the-sea provisions also came into effect. These two new measure were adopted at the last CITES CoP 16 in March 2013.