In the past few years identification tools are becoming available for customs and wildlife enforcement agents to identify shark fin by species, or identify CITES protected sharks.

The Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), welcomes the new software package for the identification of shark fins released today by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The software application called iSharkFin is an innovative system that uses machine learning techniques to identify shark species from shark fin shapes. 

CITES
Download Software
Download the SharkFin Guide (contains user manual)
Samples of shark fin photographs

DNA Manual for Shark Fins and Other Products (2018)

This manual was created for use by professional DNA analysts charged with the genetic testing of shark fins, meat fillets and other traded shark products for CITES enforcement. It applies to all shark species listed in the Appendices of CITES as of October 2016 (CITES COP 17).

Guide

Guide to Identifying Shark Fin- Implementing and Enforcing CITES, by Pew Environment and Florida State University

Download Here

CITES Shark Fin and Mobulid Gill Plate ID Posters (2018)

Identifying Shark Fins Poster (Pew)

Poster 1 shows key points to look for when identifying oceanic whitetip, porbeagle and hammerhead shark (scalloped, smooth and great) fins; both dorsal and pectoral. 

Poster 2 shows the easiest methods for identifying silky dorsal and pectoral fins and thresher shark (bigeye, common and pelagic) pectoral fins.

Manta Gill Plates ID Poster

Poster 3 shows the key characteristics to identify between manta and mobula rays. 

DOWNLOAD SHARK FIN ID POSTER (2 posters – English)

DOWNLOAD SHARK FIN ID POSTER (2 posters – French)

DOWNLOAD SHARK FIN ID POSTER (2 posters – Spanish)

DOWNLOAD SHARK FIN ID POSTER (2 posters – Portuguese)

DOWNLOAD MOBULID GILL PLATE ID POSTER (1 poster – English)

Mobulid Gill Plate ID Guide (2017)

Field Identification Guide

This guide includes the gill plates of CITES Appendix II listed manta and mobula rays (collectively referred to as mobulid rays).

DOWNLOAD MOBULID ID GUIDE