Tide Turning for Sharks

Tide Turning for Sharks

pimg alt=”hammerhead shark” src=”/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/shark.jpg” style=”width: 400px; height: 217px; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px; float: right;” //ppstrongSharks could use some good news. /strongAnd we#39;re working hard to bring it./ppstrongThis week, Friends of Animals submitted a formal letter urging the National Marine Fisheries Service to reconsider its not warranted finding for the Northwest Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico populations of hammerhead sharks/strong. Both populations are considered endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature./ppstrongFollowing an earlier petition by Friends of Animals and WildEarth Guardians, the Fisheries Service has already proposed to list four distinct communities of Scalloped hammerhead sharksnbsp;(emSphyrma lewini)/emnbsp;under the Endangered Species Act (ESA/strong). (See our a href=”/news/2013/april/imperiled-hammerhead-sharks-proposed-listing-under-endangered-species-act”press release/anbsp;and a href=”/sites/default/files/kcfinder/files/Shark_comments.pdf”comments/a.)/ppFish commerce is the biggest threat to hammerhead sharks. A big part of that involves chasing down shark for their fins, used in shark fin soup./ppFodor#39;s Travel Guidesnbsp;a href=”http://www.fodors.com/world/asia/china/hong-kong/feature_30032.html”tell potential Hong Kong tourists/anbsp;that the experience of eating fin soup is one of the biggest wastes of money in the culinary universe./ppstrongAgainst a backdrop of traditional exploitation wherein some 72 million sharks,nbsp;asnbsp;a href=”http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/24/travel/air-new-zealand-shark-fin”CNN states/a,nbsp;are killed each year and 10,000 tons of fins are traded through Hong Kong, the social tide is turning away from this unpalatable practice./strong/pullistrong?/strongAir New Zealandnbsp;as well as Cathay Pacificnbsp;have stopped shipping fins to Hong Kong, the main fin soup market./liliProminent Hong Kong hotels and restaurants are shunning fin soup, including the famousnbsp;Peninsula Hotels./liliAir Pacific, which once transported shark fin cargo, now runs contests for Hong Kong weddings that don#39;t feature shark fin in the menu; prizes include honeymoon flights to Fiji.nbsp; nbsp; nbsp; nbsp;nbsp; nbsp; nbsp;nbsp;/li/ulpThanks to the tenacity of the Hong Kong Shark Foundation and the New Zealand Shark Alliance for keeping the pressure on, resulting in shark-supportive changes in the travel and freight industries./ppstrongAt the same time, the work we#39;re advancing with the Endangered Species Act deals with the commerce and restaurants involving the United States.nbsp;This month, the National Marine Fisheries Servicenbsp;issued positive finding on another shark petition supported by Friends of Animalsmdash;for Dusky sharks./strongnbsp;nbsp;The government will begin a 12-month review of the species for possible ESA protection./ppstrongWersquo;ll be working with the University of Denver to submit a petition to list Smooth hammerhead sharks next. U.S. protection for all three hammerhead groups can powerfully counteract the fin trade.nbsp;/strong/ppOverall, it has been a good year for sharks. Oceanic whitetips (emCarcharhinus longimanus/em), scalloped hammerheads (emSphyrma lewini/em), great hammerheads (emSphyrna mokarran/em), smooth hammerheads (emSphyrna zigaena/em), and porbeagle sharks (emLamna nasus/em) were all added to Appendix II ofnbsp;the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), thereby receiving international protections./ppMichael R Harris, Director, Wildlife Law Program/ppJune 2013/ppTo support our work, clicknbsp;a href=”https://www.friendsofanimals.org/donate/index.html” target=”_blank”here./a/ppHammerhead shark photo: USFWS/ppnbsp;/p

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