As sharks dwindle, new laws enacted

May 28, 2007

Shark fisheries in Mexico and throughout the world are dealing with proposed rules to curb shark hunting in the interest of preserving these predators.

The Washington Post reported on the variety of new rules, which include Mexico's ban, enacted two weeks ago, on shark "finning" -- cutting off the animal's fins and throwing it back in the ocean to die. Shark fin soup is reportedly a delicacy and a status symbol enjoyed in Asian countries. The United States has taken measures in the interest of shark conservation, including legislation in 2000 making it illegal to possess a shark fin in U.S. waters without a corresponding carcass.

While an estimated four people per year suffer from shark attacks, the Post reported humans kill an estimated 26 million to 73 million sharks annually throughout the world, according to calculations by an international group of scientists.

But while more and more species of shark are being listed as threatened or endangered, those who hunt sharks are protesting new laws, saying it will hurt their means of making a living.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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