Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Effort to control trade in great white sharks gets teeth from international community

13.10.2004


Vilified in popular culture as a relentless man-eater, the great white shark finally received today global recognition as a persecuted species worthy of protection, as participants of the 13th meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES) adopted a proposal to improve management and monitoring of trade in jaws, teeth and fins from the world’s largest predatory fish. Led by the governments of Madagascar and Australia, the proposal to list the great white shark on Appendix II--which will provide key data on trade and allow better management of the species--was approved by a wide margin, with 87 in favor of listing, 34 opposed, with 9 abstentions. Proposals require two-thirds of those voting for approval.

"I’m thankful that the international community recognizes this species for what it really is--a perfectly adapted oceanic predator and a key player in many of the world’s marine ecosystems," said Dr. Ramón Bonfil, a specialist on great white shark ecology and a conservation fisheries scientist for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Dr. Bonfil, who is also a member of the World Conservation Union’s (IUCN) Shark Specialist Group and a strong proponent for the initiative to list great white sharks on CITES noted: "In spite of its reputed ferocity, this species is ironically a victim of what is undoubtedly the planet’s most deadly species--humans. This listing will help us manage the trade that currently threatens the great white shark by requiring data that harvests are not a detriment to the species.

The listing of the great white shark is noteworthy in that fish species are rarely included in the CITES Appendices. Two shark species have thus far been listed: the whale shark, the largest of all fish species, growing up to eighteen meters in length (60 feet), and the second largest fish species, the basking shark. Both species are filter-feeders, and at risk from over-fishing.



Reaching some six-and-a-half meters in length (21 feet), the great white shark is a member of the mackerel shark family, an assemblage of sharks that include the mako and the porbeagle. Traditionally, the great white was considered by the scientific community to be the most aggressive and dangerous of all shark species. This assumption was elevated to the public level by Steven Spielberg’s 1975 film "Jaws," based on Peter Benchley’s best-selling book and widely recognized as the film industry’s first summer blockbuster. Since then, field studies on the species have revealed that the great white shark is rarely a man-eater. Most attacks occur when great whites confuse humans with their preferred prey--sea lions, seals and other marine mammals. In fact, great white sharks, along with many other shark species, are now thought to be endangered by a combination of game fishing and commercial harvests for fins, which are highly sought in Asia’s fish markets for shark fin soup. There are no exact figures on regional or worldwide populations of great whites.

"The great white shark has been wrongly portrayed as an instinctive killing machine by Hollywood and the media for too long," added Bonfil. "Perhaps now we can lift this veil of misunderstanding and appreciate the great white shark--which has roamed the ocean largely unchanged for millions of years--as an impressive animal that we need to cherish and protect."

John Delaney | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wcs.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>