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Australia hammered over shark fin exports


Using datafrom the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service, the Worldwide Fund forNature (WWF), figures have revealed that Australia’s shark fin exports arekilling thousands of sharks each year. Using data from the AustralianQuarantine Inspection Service, the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) said 500tonnes of shark product was exported from Australia to mostly Asian markets inthe last 13 months. They say on aconservative estimate that is the equivalent of 10,000 adult sharks.

The FederalGovernment says a final decision is yet to be made but it will take aprecautionary approach. WWF’s Dr GillyLlewellyn reported to ABC news (Australia) the appetite for shark fin overseas which Australia appears tobe feeding, is insatiable, and in the past 13 months 230 tonnes of shark finhave been exported mainly to Asian markets.

Activistsare calling for the Queensland Government to shelve its plans for creating ashark fishery literally in the Great Barrier Reef world heritage area, and alsoto make conservation a priority. Apparently the Queensland Government denies its proposed changes tofishing licences would mean the creation of a dedicated shark fishery, and the FederalGovernment is yet to make a final decision regarding the way forward. Conservationists believe that an administrativechange, by means of reduction of fishing licences, will not help to decreasethe numbers of sharks being caught.

The FederalEnvironment Minister of Australia, Mr. Peter Garrett has allegedly said that he wants to be convinced on thebasis of the material received, an agreement can be reached with the QueenslandGovernment on a management plan that sees fisheries managed sustainably, andwhich doesn’t see impacts on fish species and an impact that has been reflectedin the figures that have been released.

Sara-Lise Haith
Sara-Lise Haith
Sara-Lise is the former News Editor for She is based in Dubai.