Revised shark kill estimates are announced

Oct 03, 2006

A U.S. ocean conservation organization estimates as many as 73 million sharks are killed each year worldwide for their valuable fins.

In what's called the first real-data study of sharks harvested for their fins. The University of Miami's Pew Institute for Ocean Science said its estimates of the shark kills -- ranging from as few as 26 million to as many as 73 million annually -- are three to four times higher than originally reported by the United Nations.

"The shark fin trade is notoriously secretive," said the study's lead author, Shelley Clarke, a U.S. fisheries scientist based in Hong Kong and Japan. "But we were able tap into fin auction records and convert from fin sizes and weights to whole shark equivalents to get a good handle on the actual numbers."

Used in China and across Southeast Asia for shark fin soup, a delicacy served at various events, fins are the most valuable part of the shark. The institute said the fins typically are sliced off as the shark, sometimes still alive, is thrown back into the ocean.

The research appears as the cover story in the October edition of the journal Ecology Letters.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: CO2 emissions set to reach new 40 billion ton record high in 2014

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New curbs on trade in threatened sharks

Sep 11, 2014

Seven threatened species of shark and ray are to get greater protection, as a historic agreement aimed at safeguarding the world's oldest predator takes effect, conservationists said Thursday.

Life on Earth still favours evolution over creationism

Sep 11, 2014

Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution, first published in 1859, offered a bold new explanation for how animals and plants diversified and still serves as the foundation underpinning all medical and biological ...

Tide turns for shark fin in China

Aug 20, 2014

A sprawling market floor in Guangzhou was once a prime location for shark fin, one of China's most expensive delicacies. But now it lies deserted, thanks to a ban from official banquet tables and a celebrity-driven ...

Sharks off the menu and on the tourist trail in Palau

Sep 02, 2014

In many places swimmers might prefer to avoid sharks, but wetsuit-clad tourists in Palau clamour to dive among the predators thanks to a pioneering conservation initiative that has made them one of the country's ...

Recommended for you

World greenhouse emissions threaten warming goal

5 hours ago

Emissions of greenhouse gases are rising so fast that within one generation the world will have used up its margin of safety for limiting global warming to 2°C (3.6°F), an international team of scientists ...

Tens of thousands join London climate march

6 hours ago

Tens of thousands of people in London joined a global day of protest Sunday to demand action on climate change, among them British actress Emma Thompson who said the challenge to save the planet was like ...

UN summit to test commitment to climate fund

6 hours ago

A global fund created to spearhead climate change financing faces a key test at a UN summit this week when it looks to the leaders of the industrialised world to stump up billions of dollars to fill its underflowing ...

User comments : 0