The European Union on Thursday closed a last loophole in its ban on shark finning, the long-contested practice of fisherman slicing the fins off and then throwing the still live sharks back overboard to die.
The Japanese government has decided to reject landmark rules on the trade in sharks, an official said Friday, opting for status quo despite a global push to protect the predators.
A conservation victory restricting global trade in more shark species will take a fresh bite at Hong Kong's market in fins, which has already been hit hard by persistent attacks from anti-fin campaigners.
An international agreement to protect sharks could spell trouble for one tsunami-wrecked port in Japan as it struggles back to its feet two years after being swept away, locals say.
Governments agreed on Monday to restrict international trade in four shark species in a bid to save them from extinction due to rampant demand for their fins.
Dozens of weary Indonesian fishermen sail into a busy port on the resort island of Bali celebrating their lucrative and controversial haul that is destined to end up at Chinese banquets.
Indonesia has announced a new shark and manta ray sanctuary, the first to protect the species in the rich marine ecosystem of the Coral Triangle, known as the "Amazon of the ocean".
The United States said Friday it would support proposals to curb the trade of five shark species and manta rays, whose numbers are declining because of demand for fins and gills.
The fugitive founder of Sea Shepherd has stepped down from key roles at the militant anti-whaling group, passing the Antarctic harpoon chase mantle to a former Australian politician.
Hong Kong conservationists expressed outrage on Thursday after images of a factory rooftop covered in thousands of freshly sliced shark fins emerged, as they called for curbs on the "barbaric" trade.