by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Aug 8, 2012
Threatened shark species are being used to make shark fin soup, a delicacy in Chinese cuisine, in several US cities, according to an unprecedented study based on DNA testing.
Thirty-three different species of sharks turned up in samples collected in 14 cities and analyzed at Stony Brook University's Institute for Ocean Conservation Science in New York.
"US consumers of shark fin soup cannot be certain of what's in their soup," said Demian Chapman, who co-led the DNA testing, in a statement Wednesday. "They could be eating a species that is in serious trouble."
Scalloped hammerhead sharks, listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, was among the species found on the menus of US restaurants where shark fin soup can sell for as much as $100 per bowl.
Others included smooth hammerheads, school sharks and spiny dogfish, all listed as vulnerable to extinction, as well as a variety of near-threatened species such as bull and copper sharks.
"This is further proof that shark fin soup here in the United States, not just in Asia, is contributing to the global decline in sharks," said Liz Karan, of the Pew Environment Group, a foundation that supported the study.
"Sharks must be protected from overfishing," said Karan, manager of Pew's global shark conservation program, "and any international trade in these vulnerable and endangered species must be tightly regulated."
The study marks the first time that DNA testing has been used to ascertain the different kinds of sharks used to make shark fin soup in the United States on a large nationwide scale.
Samples were collected in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Atlanta, Georgia; Boston; Chicago; Denver, Colorado; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Houston; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; New York; Orlando, Florida; San Francisco; Seattle and Washington.
The study, to which the Field Museum in Chicago contributed its DNA expertise, is to figure prominently in a television program on sharks on the Discovery science channel next week.
Up to 73 million sharks are killed around the world every year to supply a Asian-driven demand for shark fin soup, the Singapore branch of the WWF conservation organization says.
Since sharks are slow-growing and mature at a late age, they are particularly vulnerable to the danger of extinction, with potentially serious knock-on effects for lower rungs of the oceanic food chain.
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
Study finds healthy seafood comes from sustainable fish
Tempe AZ (SPX) Aug 07, 2012
When ordering seafood, the options are many and so are some of the things you might consider in what you order. Is your fish healthy? Is it safe? Is it harvested responsibly? While there are many services and rankings offered to help you decide - there's even an iPhone app - a group of researchers have found a simple rule of thumb applies. "If the fish is sustainable, then it is likely to ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal 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. 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|