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International Trade Group Protects Two Shark Species

September 21, 2007
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The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) voted to regulate international trade on the fins and meat of the world’s two largest shark species. The vote means the two species, basking sharks and whale sharks, would be listed on CITES Appendix II. Such a listing does not ban trade in products derived from the species, but ensures that international trade does not harm populations. Basking sharks are sought for their fins, which are used in the Asian dish, shark fin soup. A single fin sells for $15,000 in China. Whale sharks are sought for their meat. Both species are vulnerable because they swim relatively slowly near the surface.

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