"Many Laws to Protect Sharks Have Backfired, Researchers Find"

"A few countries have successful policies, but well-intentioned rules in others appear to have inadvertently increased demand for shark meat."

"Many of the policies enacted around the world to curb the mass killing of sharks have backfired, partly because well-intentioned rules against taking the predators solely for their fins have led to an increase in demand for shark meat, according to a study published on Thursday.

Sharks have thrived on Earth for more than 400 million years, since before the dinosaurs. But a growing appetite for their fins in some Asian cuisines led to a slaughter that drove several species to the brink of extinction.

The world reacted. Starting in the 1990s, nations drew up rules to stop the practice known as finning, in which fins are removed and carcasses are discarded. Today, 70 percent of countries and jurisdictions have regulations to stop finning or protect sharks.

But the study, which was published in the journal Science, found that many of those policies, which required fishers to land whole sharks, had unwittingly increased demand for their meat and that the expected decrease in shark mortality had failed to materialize. In fact, data shows that shark killing has increased."

Manuela Andreoni reports for the New York Times January 11, 2024.


"Why A Third Of All Sharks Are Swimming Toward Extinction, Despite Efforts To Save Them" (Washington Post)

Source: NYTimes, 01/12/2024