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Article
Genetic Profiling Reveals Illegal International Trade in Fins of the Great White Shark, Carcharodon carcharias
Conservation Genetics
  • Mahmood S. Shivji, Nova Southeastern University
  • Demian D. Chapman, Nova Southeastern University
  • Ellen K. Pikitch, University of Miami
  • Paul W. Raymond, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Law Enforcement
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
12-21-2005
Keywords
  • conservation,
  • fin trade,
  • great white sharks,
  • shark DNA forensics
Peer Reviewed
1
Abstract
Great white sharks are protected by national legislation in several countries, making this species the most widely protected elasmobranch in the world. Although the market demand for shark fins in general has continued to grow, the value and extent of utilization of white shark fins in trade has been controversial. We combine law enforcement with genetic profiling to demonstrate that illegal trade in fins of this species is occurring in the contemporary international market. Furthermore, we document the presence of fins from very young white sharks in the trade, suggesting a multiple-use market (food to trophies) exists for fins of this species. The presence of small fins in the trade contradicts the view that white shark fins have market value only as large display trophies, and not as food. Our findings indicate that effective conservation of protected shark species will require international management regimes that include monitoring of the shark fishery and trade on a species-specific basis.
Comments

© Springer 2005

Additional Comments
This research was funded by the Florida Sea Grant Program, the Roe Foundation, the Pew Institute for Ocean Science through the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Hai Stiftung Foundation. DDC is supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.
ResearcherID
G-4080-2013
DOI
10.1007/s10592-005-9082-9
Citation Information
Mahmood S. Shivji, Demian D. Chapman, Ellen K. Pikitch and Paul W. Raymond. "Genetic Profiling Reveals Illegal International Trade in Fins of the Great White Shark, Carcharodon carcharias" Conservation Genetics Vol. 6 Iss. 6 (2005) p. 1035 - 1039 ISSN: 1566-0621
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/mahmood-shivji/55/