The whitetip shark was already listed as an endangered species being on the verge of extinction. Specialists are concerned about this species declining status. The shark was listed under the Endangered Species Act. The conservation group Defenders of Wildlife asked for the help of the government to put this species on the list, trying to boost efforts of conservation.
- Conservationists listed the whitetip shark under the Endangered Species Act.
- Specialists are trying to boost the conservation and safety efforts, trying to save this species.
- This shark is captured for its large pectoral fins which are very expensive on the Asian market.
The whitetip shark is usually found swimming in open water, being widespread around the world. The National Marine Fisheries Service claimed in a paper recently published in the Federal Register that these sharks are likely to become extinct in a significant portion of their range in the near future. One of the major threats is represented by the fishing pressure.
All around the world, they are captured and used for their fins which are very widespread in the Asian market, being considered a delicacy, a special ingredient for soups. Chelsey Young, a natural resource management specialist for the fisheries service, pointed out that since the 1990s, this particular species has declined by 80% to 90% in the Pacific Ocean.
What is more, since the 1950s, in the Atlantic Ocean, the number of whitetip sharks has declined by 50% to 85%.Young claimed that the oceanic whitetip shark is captured for its large pectoral fins, being bought for a very high price on the Asian market. The fisheries service is currently gathering public opinions about the status of this species until March.
The service expects to decide upon the best solution by the end of November. The fact that this shark species was listed under the Endangered Species Act will help authorities and conservationists boost the effort of conservation and protection, aiming for the recovery of the sharks’ population.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species lists the oceanic whitetip shark as being a defenseless animal. Lora Snyder, a campaign director for the conservation group Oceana, argued that they need additional protection to keep this species safe. Any small contribution would be welcomed.
This conservation group has also asked for a wider ban on the export of the shark fin in the United States. The trade is already restricted, but authorities need to make sure that their conservation efforts are not in vain.
Image source: wikipedia