Have you ever tried to identify a shark species just by its fin?
Here’s a photo of a set of fins from the same species and below are five different sharks. Can you tell which one of the sharks the fins belong to? Hit the info circle to find out if you got it right.
What you just did is what customs officials all over the world have to do in order to fight illegal shark trade.
There are over 40 shark and ray species listed in the CITES Appendices and many of these are targeted for their valuable fins, mainly for consumption in Asia. Misdeclaring the relevant species on customs permits is one of the main ways sharks are traded illegally around the world. The difference is that customs usually don't have a multiple choice sheet, reference photos or training, and they have to ID fins against over 1,000 potential shark species. At the same time as looking out for drugs, weapons, and other contraband. This is where our 3D fins come in ...
These replica 3D printed fins are an innovative tool to help enforcement officials combat the illegal trade in shark finsMarkus Bürgener, Programme Co-ordinator
22 shark fins from CITES-listed species were 3D scanned, printed, and painted to provide a training and support tool for frontline enforcement officials required to identify shark fins in international trade.
Discover the full story behind the fins, more on why we made them, and why correct shark fin identification is critical to global shark conservation.
Do you want to make a set of replica fins in your own country for assisting customs officials in regulating and enforcing the trade in CITES-listed species? Follow this link to access the full how-to guide and shark files for printing and painting
Available to the world, free of charge. Download the How-to Guide first to explain the scanning, printing, and painting process. Below you can access:
Contact TRAFFIC's shark trade and fisheries expert on Markus Bürgener for questions, collaborative opportunities or just to say thanks!
The development of these 3D scans and associated materials was conducted through TRAFFIC's Reducing Trade Threats to Africa's Wild Species and Ecosystems (ReTTA) project, generously funded by Arcadia - a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.
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