US moves to protect scalloped hammerhead sharks

July 4, 2014 by Audrey Mcavoy

The National Marine Fisheries Service is listing four distinct populations of a hammerhead shark species as threatened and endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

The agency said Thursday it's listing scalloped hammerheads in the eastern Atlantic and eastern Pacific as endangered. The populations in the central and southwest Atlantic, and the Indo-West Pacific are being listed as threatened.

The central Pacific population—which includes scalloped hammerheads living in Hawaii waters—is considered fairly healthy and isn't being listed.

Hawaii Institute for Marine Biology shark researcher Carl Meyer says demand for is driving overfishing to deplete the species.

He says the high number of fibers in scalloped hammerhead fins makes them particularly desirable for .

The listing takes effect in September.

Explore further: Scientists trace shark fins to their geographic origin for first time using DNA tools

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