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 Safeguarding sustainability through forest certification mapping
27.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Dune ecosystem modelling
26.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

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: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>