Endangered shark species granted CITES protection

Mar 11, 2013
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Endangered shark species granted CITES protection

Endangered animals are constantly being tracked down by poachers -- just one of the main reasons behind endangered species, but thanks to a two-thirds majority vote, three species of sharks have been added to the list of species getting better protection from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

It's said that an estimated 100 million sharks are killed by commercial fishing practices each year, and the blame is said to be on the making of shark-fin soup in China. The Oceanic Whitetip, Hammerhead, and the Portbeagle have been added to the protection list, and all three are highly valued for their fins.

178 nations voted on the species protection today, and countries like the United States, Brazil, and Columbia voted for the protection, while China and Japan vote against, due to the popularity of shark fin soup. It turns out that shark advocates have been attempting to get CITES to protect these species since 1994.

However, it's important to note that the added protection doesn't necessarily ban the killing of these endangered sharks, but it simply regulates the practice. Countries will have to issue licences in order to import and export, and if a country is seeing too many exporting and importing transactions, they could be hit with various sanctions.

[via BBC News]

Photo via Flickr


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