A new study reveals worrying declines in Pacific shark populations, due mostly to the shark fin trade.
- Pacific population of the oceanic whitetip shark declined by 17 percent between 1995 and 2010
- The north Pacific blue shark decreased by about five percent per year in the same period
- There was a decline in shark size over the 15 year study period, a clear indication of overfishing
These findings suggest that bans on shark finning are not helping nearly enough to protect sharks. Their failure is most likely due to lack of enforcement and the increasing market for shark meat.
“These findings underscore conservationists’ messages that most finning bans are not properly enforced, and alone are insufficient to reverse shark population declines,” explained Sonja Fordham, President of Shark Advocates International.
To learn more:
- Find the study, published in the journal Conservation Biology, here: Population Trends in Pacific Oceanic Sharks and the Utility of Regulations on Shark Finning
- Check out this article from AFP: Pacific sharks disappearing into soup: study (link no longer active)
Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.