Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



WATER WORLD
Sharks: feared predator in need of protection
By Susan NJANJI
Johannesburg (AFP) Oct 1, 2016


Sharks may elicit less sympathy than elephants or rhinos, but experts say the feared predators are under increasing pressure from unmanaged commercial fishing and desperately in need of further protection.

Unregulated fishing and international trade in shark products for human consumption have led to a precipitous drop in numbers.

An estimated 100 million sharks are killed every year, according to an authoritative 2013 study, an amount that conservationists say threatens the survival of many shark species.

Sharks are slow-growing and slow to reproduce, and the market for their body parts -- especially fins and gill plates -- are driving overfishing.

Shark are also hunted for their meat, skin, liver oil and cartilage, as well as being accidentally caught by industrial "longline" fishing.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) conference, which is under way in Johannesburg, is to vote on whether to increase protection for the silky shark and three species of thresher sharks.

The decision would put them into the CITES "appendix II", which bans all trade in parts, unless under stringent conditions.

"The demand particularly for fins, for meat and gill plates is higher than ever," warned Andy Cornish, an expert on sharks at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

"Many countries have no management whatsoever for sharks -- anybody can take whatever they want.

"Even in some countries that have regulations, they are not well enforced, and as a result, 25 percent of sharks and rays and their relatives are threatened with extinction."

- 'Part of ocean fabric' -

Fiji, Sri Lanka and the Maldives, which rely on marine life for tourism, are leading proposals to have 13 threatened species of shark and rays given stronger CITES protection.

"Sharks are a vital ecological part of the ocean fabric and rays are keystone species, so we need to protect them," Dan Ashe, director of the US Fish and Wildlife Services, told AFP.

"Silky sharks, thresher sharks and the devil rays are being unsustainably harvested."

Fins are the most valuable part of sharks, with shark fin soup often consumed at prestigious banquets in China, Hong Kong and Singapore.

"Finning" -- slicing off shark fins while they are alive and tossing them back into the water to die -- has been banned by many regional fishing bodies, but still occurs in parts of south-east Asia.

In a high-profile attempt to curb consumption, China recently outlawed fin soup at state functions.

According to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), sales of shark and ray meat rose 40 percent in the decade to 2011.

"The global trade in shark and ray parts and products is nearing $1 billion in annual value," said Amie Brautigan, WCS's sharks and rays expert.

In 2003, basking sharks and whale sharks were the first sharks put onto appendix II, and following the last CITES meeting in 2013, a total of eight species of sharks and all manta rays were included.

- Not the movies -

Rallying behind the need for more protection is South African shark attack survivor Achmat Hassiem.

Ten years ago, Hassiem, a lifeguard, lost half his leg when a great white shark attacked him in the sea off Cape Town.

He has since become a Paralympian swimmer -- and an advocate for conservation.

"I think movies that portray sharks as man-eating monsters do a huge disservice to sharks," the 34-year-old told AFP.

"As top predators in the oceans, they play a crucial role in the food chain. Without them, there is an imbalance that funnels right down to the coral."

If the CITES shark proposals are adopted, shark catching countries will be required to regulate fishing and issue export permits to ensure sustainability in the wild.

The conference in Johannesburg, which ends on Wednesday, is sifting through 62 proposals to tighten or loosen trade restrictions on around 500 species.


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
WATER WORLD
Thousands protest steel plant over Vietnam fish deaths
Hanoi (AFP) Oct 2, 2016
Thousands of Vietnamese protesters surrounded a Taiwanese steel plant Sunday, some scaling walls and holding signs demanding its closure, as anger flares against the firm for dumping toxic waste into the ocean killing tonnes of fish. Huge crowds on motorbike and foot gathered at the Formosa plant in central Ha Tinh province, with some holding signs saying: "Authorities, please close Formosa ... read more


WATER WORLD
Health workers, hospitals targeted in Syria war

1 dead, dozens missing after China landslides: reports

27 missing in E. China landslide: Xinhua

Santos, Timochenko: Colombia foes turned peacemakers

WATER WORLD
Indonesian scavengers scrape a living by recycling

Levitating nanoparticle improves torque sensing in quest for quantum theory fundamentals

Apple teams with Deloitte to push deeper into work

Use of 'large open-ended pipe piles' could lead to lower-cost bridge construction

WATER WORLD
'Marine snow' drifts buoy life on ocean floor

Sharks: feared predator in need of protection

Deep-sea creatures are eating microplastics, new evidence confirms

Scientists in New Caledonia hope for best after coral bleaching

WATER WORLD
Northern Lights trump street lights in Iceland

Global cooling yielded modern ecosystems 7 million years ago

Arctic Sea Ice Annual Minimum ties second lowest on record

Land-based food not nutritionally sufficient for wild polar bears

WATER WORLD
Chinese giant turns to France to meet soaring demand for baby formula

Review of studies finds genetically engineered crops are safe

China removes 13-year-old ban on some US beef products

China removes 13-year-old ban on some US beef products

WATER WORLD
Mexico evacuates hundreds as volcano spews lava

Hurricane Matthew threatens Caribbean, Typhoon Lionrock eyes southern Japan

Tourists flee volcano at popular Indonesia hiking spot

Typhoon Megi kills one in China after Taiwan destruction

WATER WORLD
Zimbabwe, Namibia to push for ivory trade

United States investing in Niger air base

Congo train attack kills 14 including children

Can Africa's mobile money revolution reduce poverty?

WATER WORLD
Why Does Dying Cost More for People of Color

World's first baby born from 3-parent technique: report

UMass Amherst Research Traces Past Climate, Human Migration in the Faroe Islands

Yes, Computing Genetic Ancestors is Super Accurate




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement