Press Photos: Marshall Islands Parliament Passes Shark Protections

  • October 02, 2011

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Healthy and biologically diverse shark populations are important to maintaining healthy marine habitats and fisheries.

Credit: Jim Abernethy

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Some species, such as the oceanic white tip, have experienced declines of up to 99 percent.

Credit: Jim Abernethy

 

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The catching of sharks in fisheries that target other species is frequently reported in open-sea longline fisheries targeting tuna and swordfish. Blue sharks make up a particuarly large proportion of shark bycatch in open-sea fisheries (47 to 92 percent).

Credit: Jim Abernethy

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It has been estimated that whale shark tourism, mainly through recreational diving, is worth about US$47.5 million worldwide.

Credit: Jim Abernethy

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Due to their life history characteristics of slow growth, late maturity, and production of few young, sharks are exceptionally vulnerable to overexploitation and slow to recover once depleted.

Credit: Shawn Heinrichs

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According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Redlist, 30 percent of shark and ray species are threatened or near-threatened with extinction.

Credit: Shawn Heinrichs

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The onset of industrial fishing over the past 60 years has drastically depleted the world's shark populations.

Credit: Julien Lajournade

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Shark finning is the unnecessary practice of cutting the fins off a shark and discarding the body at sea. The price of one kilogram of shark fins can fetch as much as US$700.

Credit: Jeff Rotman

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Shark fins are a lucrative commodity on the international market, where many are bought for the Asian delicacy, shark fin soup. One bowl of shark fin soup can cost US$100.

Credit: Michael James Kavanagh

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The demand for shark fins, meat, liver oil, and other products has driven numerous shark populations to the brink of extinction.

Credit: Shawn Heinrichs

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The loss of sharks could cause irreversible damage to the ocean and economic activities, such as dive tourism.

Credit: Shawn Heinrichs

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Up to 73 million sharks are killed annually to support the global shark fin trade.

Credit: Shawn Heinrichs

Media Contact: Kymberly Escobar

Topics: Oceans, Environment