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Wednesday
Aug072013

Communicating shark conservation to Chinese communities around the Coral Triangle

Hong Kong, 7th August 2013—As part of its efforts to raise awareness on shark conservation and the need to hamper the illegal trade and consumption of shark products among Chinese communities, WWF-Hong Kong has produced a Chinese translation of the report, “An Overview of Shark Utilization in the Coral Triangle Region.” (PDF, 2.7 MB)

The report, which was jointly produced by TRAFFIC and WWF and launched in English in late 2012, examines the catch, trade, and management of sharks in waters of the five Coral Triangle countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and Solomon Islands, plus the neighbouring countries of Viet Nam and Fiji.

The report shows the need for a more concerted effort in managing shark fisheries in the Coral Triangle, to help conserve dwindling populations of these threatened species.

As many as 100 million sharks are killed each year. Global shark populations are declining at an alarming rate. This precipitous drop has largely been driven by the highly lucrative shark fin trade, feeding the demand for shark fin in Hong Kong, mainland China and beyond.

According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), countries in the Coral Triangle region, particularly Malaysia and Indonesia, are among the world’s primary shark catchers.

In March 2013, the Oceanic Whitetip, three hammerhead sharks (Scalloped, Great and Smooth Hammerheads) and Porbeagle were all added to Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). This means that these species and their derivative products (i.e. shark fins) can be commercially traded internationally, but within strict regulations to ensure their sustainability.

Issues concerning the implementation of the CITES listings—due to come into force worldwide in September2014—were examined in a report: Into the deep: Implementing CITES measures for commercially-valuable sharks and manta rays (PDF, 1.8 MB) written by TRAFFIC at the request of the European Commission and released late last month.

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