International Convention Moves To Limit Shark ‘Finning’ Trade


International Convention Moves To Limit Shark ‘Finning’ Trade


Indonesian fishermen unload their catch, including sharks and baby sharks, in Lampulo fish market in Banda Aceh last week.

AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Delegates to an international species conservation conference in Bangkok, Thailand, this week have agreed to limit the trade of shark fins and meat.

NPR’s Christopher Joyce reports that government representatives to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES, have agreed to put the porbeagle, oceanic whitetip, three kinds of hammerhead shark and two kinds of manta ray on its Appendix II list, which places restrictions on fishing but still allows limited trade.

Joyce says “conservation groups have been trying for years to curtail the widespread killing of sharks for their meat and for shark fin soup,” which is considered a delicacy in China and elsewhere in Asia.

The listing must be confirmed in a formal vote this week. It follows a failed attempt last week to list the polar bear as endangered, Joyce says.

According to The Independent newspaper, scientists estimate that almost 100 million sharks are caught each year, and because they are slow-growing and slow to reproduce, they are especially vulnerable to overfishing.

“Although some regions, including the European Union, have banned shark finning, commercial fishing for fins, meat, liver oil, cartilage and other body parts is largely unregulated in much of the world, conservationists warn. Some countries have been reluctant to include marine species, which can generate large revenues, in the treaty that regulates or bans international trade in wildlife. The shark fin business is worth an estimated [$475 million] a year.”

Source: NPR


Japan’s tsunami-hit shark finning town concerned over CITES restrictions

Japan’s tsunami-hit shark finning town concerned over CITES restrictionsKesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, one of the towns badly hit by the 2011 tsunami, is just getting back on its feet. But locals are wary that they may not be able to fully recover if an international deal for the protection of sharks is signed. Yesterday, the 178-member Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) voted to control international trade of the porbeagle, oceanic whitetip and three types of hammerheads, as well as the manta ray. And this could be a problem to the town that has been the center of shark fin supply since the 19th century.

Shinichi Sato is worried about his shark fin processing business in the wake of this new agreement regarding the sea animals. He feels that his business might be affected, even though he does not use the species covered by the agreement. “About 90 percent of sharks we get here are blue sharks, different from those discussed at the wildlife conference,” he said. “But I am worried the CITES debate may trigger a price collapse for shark fins.” Shark fin, of course, is popular in China and Japan as an ingredient for soup or stew.

On the other hand, conservationists hailed the deal made in Bangkok, Thailand, calling it a major step in the protection of endangered species. Their position is that “finning”—slicing the fins from live sharks—is cruel because the rest of shark is returned to the water where it will just agonizingly bleed until it dies. Therefore, it must be stopped.

Source: The Japan Daily Press


Editorial: SELVA-Vida Sin Fronteras

Editorial Committee

David Dunham

Arno Ambrosius

Gustavo López Ospina

Mariana Almeida

Pieter Jan Brouwer

Assistant: Emilia Romero

The Amazon Pink Dolphin’s Voice is associated with the International Environmental Mission, a grass roots citizens movement created by Chilean Senator Juan Pablo Letelier.

SELVA Vida Sin Fronteras acknowledges Kevin Schafer’s important contribution towards protecting the highly endangered Amazon pink fresh water dolphin. Title photographs of our “The Amazon Pink Dolphin’s Voice” were taken by Mr. Schafer. 


~ by FSVSF Admin on 13 March, 2013.

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