More protection for whitetip

Oceanic whitetip shark. Photo: Flickr/Creative Commons- Cold Water Diver

BANGKOK (THAILAND)- A majority of delegates at the Cites conservation meeting in Bangkok have voted to extend the protection of the threatened oceanic whitetip shark.

The species have seen its numbers decline dramatically in recent years because of overfishing for fins.

Historical
Campaigners said the move to record and regulate all trade of the species was historic, and that they believed two other sharks would also be protected, according to BBC reports

However, the decisions could still be overturned on appeal at the meeting.

Shark-fin soup
An estimated 100 million sharks are killed by commercial fishing every year, researchers have recently reported. They blame a huge appetite for shark-fin soup in China and Hong Kong for stimulating the trade.

Fins
The Oceanic whitetip and the two other species for which campaigners are seeking further protection – the Hammerhead and the Portbeagle – are highly valued for their fins.

At the Cites meeting delegates will also decide whether to regulate trade in two types of manta rays who are hunted for their gill plates, which are used in some Chinese traditional medicines.