102 countries vote to protect endangered mako sharks

Mako sharks were recently declared to be endangered globally and their number have plunged in the Atlantic, Northern Pacific and Indian Oceans.

At the CITES global wildlife trade summit in Geneva, a proposal to strengthen protection for mako sharks, hunted for their meat and fins, was adopted after a 102-40 secret ballot vote.

The proposal lists mako sharks in under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) which means that they can’t be traded unless it can be shown that fishing wouldn’t threaten their chances for survival, reported National Geographic.

Elizabeth Murdock, director of the Pacific Ocean Initiatve at the Natural Resources Defense Council said, “Protecting these sharks under CITES gives these vulnerable predators a fighting chance.”

Mako sharks are often targeted for their fins which is used to make the shark fin soup — a status dish in Asian countries, notably China, that’s often served at weddings.

“Momentum is clearly building to ensure that these species — which have been around for 400 million years — continue to be around for future generations,” said Luke Warwick, assistant director of the sharks and rays program for the nonprofit Wildlife Conservation Society.

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