Countries come together to protect critically endangered species
Countries have come together to protect mako sharks, wedgefishes and guitarfishes. These animals usually fall prey to fishing commercial industries. Sharks are having a huge demand in places like China. They hunt sharks mainly for shark fin, which is used for shark fin soup.
“Today we are one step closer to protecting the fastest shark in the ocean, as well as the most threatened,” said Jen Sawada, who directs The Pew Charitable Trusts’ shark conservation work. The measures don’t ban fishing these sharks and rays, but any trade must be sustainable. Malaysia, China, New Zealand, Japan and Iceland voted against this decision. The United States supported the protection for wedgefishes and guitarfishes but went against mako sharks. Critic argued that millions of mako fishes exist. They believe that this will only divert the main interest of CITES of protecting the endangered species but many others believe that millions of mako sharks are being killed each year for shark parts and measures is needed to be taken to reduce this.
“Japan has been highly dependent on (live) marine resources from the ancient times,” said Hideki Moronuki, director of fisheries negotiations at the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. “It’s very, very important for us in Japan to sustainably use all those marine riches,” he said.
Scientist believe that ocean warming and climate change have increased the threat to these fishes, but the demand for shark fin soup makes it worse. According to estimates, about 273 million sharks are killed each year for the shark fin trade. Shark fin soup is a Chinese delicacy and believes that it will bring good fortune. Recipes of these dates back to the 10th century song dynasty
Rima Jabado, a shark expert and lead scientist of the Gulf Elasmo project said that wedge fishes have been declined by 80%. These are commonly found in the Arabian Sea, south-east Asia and East Africa.