Way too few sharks in the pond

Janet Babin Feb 18, 2008
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Way too few sharks in the pond

Janet Babin Feb 18, 2008
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Doug Krizner: Here’s news sure to put more pressure on the shark-fishing industry. New research has found that sharks are not just endangered, they’re now vulnerable to extinction. Marketplace’s Janet Babin reports from North Carolina Public Radio.


Janet Babin: The report is from researchers at UC San Diego. It says most large shark species have declined by more than half. Other reports have put that number as high as 90 percent.

In the U.S., the National Marine Fisheries Service has banned most commercial shark fishing until at least August. But many other countries allow it, and recreational shark fishing is still legal in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Margaret Bowman is with the Pew Charitable Trusts, the group that funded the research:

Margaret Bowman: The recreational fisheries as well as commercial fisheries for sharks can continue. They just have to have careful limits on them.

Sharks grow slowly, so it takes longer for them to recover from over-fishing.

The increased popularity of shark fins has upped the predator’s value, too. Some fisherman cut off the fins and throw the live shark back to die, even though the practice is banned in the U.S.

I’m Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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