New curbs on trade in threatened sharks

A hammerhead shark swims in a large tank at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.The 178 members of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) agreed in March 2013 to tighten regulations on the trade of the three types of hammerhead shark, the porbeagle and oceanic whitetip shark, and two types of manta ray. "The listing was a victory for science over politics," Andy Cornish, who heads a shark preservation initiative backed by WWF and wildlife trade monitoring network Traffic, said in a statement. More than 70 million sharks are killed worldwide every year, according to WWF, with high demand for shark fins in Asia the biggest driver of the overfishing. Traffic has estimated the total value of the shark fin trade at more than $480 million per year, with the fish hunted for their meat, leather, liver oil and cartilage.

September 11, 2014 7:33 pm

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