Cites shark species debated

2013-02-20 11:30
A worker cuts a shark fin at a fish market in Dubai , United Arab Emirates. (Kamran Jebreili, AP)

A worker cuts a shark fin at a fish market in Dubai , United Arab Emirates. (Kamran Jebreili, AP)

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Thousands of shark fins on rooftop

2013-01-04 15:18

Thousands of shark fins found on the rooftop of a Hong Kong building.WATCH

Cape Town – In the run-up to the upcoming conference of parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites) governments will debate whether to add five species of shark to the treaty on Wednesday.

According to the Pew Charitable trusts website the groups will lobby for the addition of the Scalloped Hammerhead, Porbeagle, and Oceanic whitetip. The two manta rays include the Oceanic manta and the Reef manta.

The sharks are traded for their valuable meat and fins whereas the rays are traded for their gill plates, reportedly used in Asian medicinal products.

“A positive result will limit international trade of shark fin and meat and manta gill rakers and help reduce the threat of overfishing facing these species,” stated a WWF media briefing ahead of the international teleconference.

Year of the shark

With the recent proposals for shark conservation, the Pew Environment Group is advocating for 2013 to be declared year of the shark.

Assessments by scientists for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) have shown that 30% of sharks are threatened with extinction.

The international shark fin trade claims 73 million sharks, with most of the fins ending up in shark fin soup.

The 16th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP) will be held from 3 - 14 March 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand.

- Follow Dane on Twitter

Read more on:    wwf  |  iucn  |  environment  |  marine life  |  conservation  |  animals

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