Petition to Protect Great Hammerhead Sharks Under Endangered Species Act

Shark Stewards joins the Center for Biological Diversity calling for increased protection for Great Hammerhead Sharks under the ESA and in their complete range. We are also asking NMFS to support the motion to uplist this species and the scalloped hammerhead to Appendix I at the Convention of International Trade of Endangered Species in Panama, 2022.

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Over 20,000 Shark Fins Seized, Canadian Importer Fined

On September 25, 2017, Hang Hing Herbal Medicine Ltd. imported a shipment containing 22 bags of processed shark fins, declared as fish bone, into Richmond, BC. The Canada Border Services Agency noted that the shipment contained wildlife products and referred it to ECCC Enforcement. Wildlife enforcement officers inspected the shipment and concluded that the products, declared as fish bone, were in fact shark fins. DNA testing was used to determine that the shipment contained two species of shark, one being a CITES Appendix II-listed species, Carcharhinus longimanus (oceanic whitetip shark). An importer must obtain a permit from the country of export before importing an Appendix II species into Canada. No permit to import the 12, 984 Oceanic Whitetip Shark fins had been obtained.

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Ban The Shark Fin Trade

A ban on the shark trade would help keep the ecosystem stable. The low level of sharks
in the oceans has a detrimental effect on the ecosystem as a whole. For instance, the University
of Miami’s organization SRC (Shark Research and Conservation) led by marine biologist Dr
Neil Hammerschlag says that “Our research team found that across reefs where sharks have been
depleted, prey fishes had significantly smaller caudal fins and eyes compared to the reefs with
intact shark populations (up to 40 and 46% relative difference in standardized means).”.

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Embarking on Green Careers

The partnership with Shark Stewards and UC Berkeley’s Fung Fellowship was fruitful. Founder and Director David McGuire challenged students to develop a better way to coalesce data on California shark sightings, in part to create a rapidly shareable public response and education system that could aid scientific study as well as help minimize the risk of human-shark encounters

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