"U.N. Meeting Asked To Regulate World Shark Trade"

"Exploding Asian demand for shark fin soup has slashed worldwide shark populations, and global regulation is the best way to save eight species now under pressure, ocean conservationists reported on Monday.

Eight types of sharks -- oceanic whitetip, dusky, sandbar, spurdog, porbeagle, scalloped, smooth and great hammerhead -- should be regulated under the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), a marine expert at the Washington-based group Oceana said.

'The demand for the shark fin is so high, they're being taken out of the water faster than they can reproduce in the water to sustain their population,' said Rebecca Greenberg, co-author of an Oceana report released at a U.N. CITES meeting on endangered species being held from March 13 to 25 in Doha, Qatar.

Sharks are under particular pressure because of the growing Chinese appetite for shark fin soup, traditionally a symbol of power and prestige that was formerly reserved for the wealthy."

Deborah Zabarenko reports for Reuters March 17, 2010.

Source: Reuters, 03/17/2010