Governments agree to restrict international trade of four shark species
BANGKOK (AFP) - Governments have agreed to restrict the international trade of four shark species to save them from being wiped out due to rampant demand for their fins.
The 178-member Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) voted at a meeting in Bangkok to control exports of the oceanic whitetip and three types of hammerhead shark, but stopped short of a full trade ban.
The move would require countries to regulate trade by issuing export permits to ensure their sustainability in the wild, otherwise they could face sanctions from Cites.
Humans kill about 100 million sharks each year, mostly for their fins, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), and conservationists are warning that dozens of species are under threat. Ninety per cent of the world's sharks have disappeared over the past 100 years, mostly because of overfishing in countries such as Indonesia, the FAO says.