Shark Finning and the Molecular Identification of Shark Species

Published on 26. September 2017

Shark Finning and the Molecular Identification of Shark Species: Review and Perspectives

Amaral CRL, Silva DA, Amorim A, de Carvalho EF


Worshipped and revered in several Indo-Pacific countries, and mostly feared among the western world, sharks are an old group of vertebrates dating back to the Devonian-Silurian boundary (~400Ma). Constantly represented as human predator by occidental movies, sharks have a spiritual appeal for several Indo-Pacific cultures. In contrast with this spiritual significance, in China sharks are a fierce animal believed to give strength and health for those whom consume their fins. They are also considered as a signal of prosperity and wealth. Fished for their meat and fins, several species are considered under high threat and are now facing extinction, with about 93% of nominal species included on the IUCN Red List. Mainly relying on the inefficiency of law enforcement authorities, the shark finning industry is a growing business with global scale actors and consequences. Understand the relation between spiritual beliefs, wealth and vitality, and the consumption of shark fins and meat is needed to precisely delineate the shark finning problem and to the development of efficient management and conservation policies. Molecular methods provide a valuable option for the identification of shark meat and body parts such as fins, although it still not consensual whione is the most appropriate.

J Oceanogr Mar Res 2017, 5:3, DOI: 10.4172/2572-3103.1000167



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