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 How does the loss of species alter ecosystems?
18.05.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Excess diesel emissions bring global health & environmental impacts
16.05.2017 | 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: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>