Sharks have been swimming the world’s oceans for more than 400 million years, but they are in trouble globally. In recent years the demand for shark fins has increased becoming sharks’ greatest threat. Tens of millions of sharks are killed each year to support the international trade of shark fins. While countries have started to prohibit finning, the practice of slicing the fins off the sharks and throwing the bodies overboard, their methods differ and loopholes exist. In September 2010, INCOPESCA, Costa Rica’s fisheries agency, held a workshop for Latin American countries to demonstrate why a fins naturally attached method is preferred and how it can be implemented in other countries.
The Management and Conservation of Sharks: Better Application of Regulations that Prohibit Finning
INCOPESCA invited delegates from Fisheries Agencies through the Central and South American regions to discuss the fins-attached method at a workshop in Puntarenas, Costa Rica. One of the biggest impacts on shark populations is the practice of killing sharks for their fins. Fins are a lucrative commodity on the international market where they are bought for use in the Chinese delicacy shark fin soup which fetches more than US$100 a bowl in some restaurants.