Islands Draw Record Backing to Protect Sharks from Fin Trade

A global campaign to protect sharks and rays from the fin trade is gaining record backing, vindicating initial efforts by island nations such as the Maldives that benefit from ecotourism. Proposals to add 13 species of sharks and rays to a list of conserved creatures will be submitted to a September meeting in South Africa by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, an agreement by 182 member countries. If adopted, this would double the proportion of the shark-fin trade CITES regulates to 20 percent, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts.

“This is probably the most important thing that could happen for sharks and rays this year,” Luke Warwick, director of the Pew Charitable Trusts’ shark-conservation campaign, said by phone from Washington. The market for shark fins and other products is depleting populations of the fish, with an estimated 100 million killed annually, according to a 2013 study published in <<<Marine Policy>>>, a journal of ocean-policy studies.

The response of countries has grown since the first species of the fish, including hammerhead varieties and the porbeagle, were protected from illegal trade in 2013, according to Warwick. The more than 50 nations co-sponsoring the proposals for September represent the largest support for an initiative in CITES’ history, according to Warwick.

– Bloomberg, read more: http://bloom.bg/1SKnHZz

 

An Indonesian customs official displays seized hammerhead and cowboy shark fins at container terminal in Surabaya, East Java province, on January 28, 2016. Some 352 shark fin pieces weighing a total 20,814 kg due to be shipped to Hong Kong, and jellyfish weighing 93,412 kg due to be sent to Vietnam, valued at 1 billion rupiah (72,000 USD) was seized by authorities. AFP PHOTO / Juni KRISWANTO / AFP / JUNI KRISWANTO        (Photo credit should read JUNI KRISWANTO/AFP/Getty Images)

An Indonesian customs official displays seized hammerhead and cowboy shark fins at container terminal in Surabaya, East Java province, on January 28, 2016. Some 352 shark fin pieces weighing a total 20,814 kg due to be shipped to Hong Kong, and jellyfish weighing 93,412 kg due to be sent to Vietnam, valued at 1 billion rupiah (72,000 USD) was seized by authorities. AFP PHOTO / Juni KRISWANTO / AFP / JUNI KRISWANTO (Photo credit should read JUNI KRISWANTO/AFP/Getty Images)

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