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Posted Wed Mar 17 2010: from AP, through DesdemonaDespair:
Nonbinding shark conservation proposal defeated at UN meeting
China, Japan and Russia helped defeat a U.S.-endorsed proposal at a U.N. wildlife trade meeting Tuesday that would have boosted conservation efforts for sharks, expressing concern it would hurt poor nations and should be the responsibility of regional fisheries bodies. The opposition to the shark proposal came hours after the marine conservation group Oceana came out with a report showing that demand for shark fin soup in Asia is driving many species of these big fish to the brink of extinction. The nonbinding measure, which called for increased transparency in the shark trade and more research into the threat posed to sharks by illegal fishing, had been expected to gain approval by a committee of the 175-nation Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES.... Oceana, a Washington, D.C.-based group, found that as many as 73 million sharks are killed each year, primarily for their fins, with much of the trade going to China.... Shark fin soup has long played central part in traditional Chinese culture, often being served at weddings and banquets. Demand for the soup has surged as increasing numbers of Chinese middle class family become wealthier.
[Read more stories about: predator depletion, hunting to extinction, ecosystem interrelationships]

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'Doc Jim says:
It's as if our short-sighted rapaciousness never stops moving forward.

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