Aussie sharks ‘threatened’ by demand for fins

Date: 1/6/2004

Asia’s increasing demand for shark fins is placing shark species in northern Australian waters under threat and harming the marine ecosystem. The Australian Institute of Marine Science studied the impact of shark fishing on Scott Reef in the Timor Sea, which lies between Australia and Indonesia. Researchers found a sharp fall in the number of sharks over the past four years, particularly grey reef sharks and silver tipped sharks, which have fins regarded as a delicacy in Asia that can fetch up to AUS$100 (about R500) a kilogram. Biologist Mark Meekan said the decline was due to over-harvesting by Indonesian fishermen, who have been granted fishing rights in the area provided they use traditional sail-driven boats.

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