United State’s National Marine Fisheries Service classified four distinct populations of a shark species as endangered and threatened whose fins are favored as an ingredient in shark fin soup.
The new classification was response to a petition filed by the environmental groups WildEarth Guardians and Friends of Animals.
The agency has listed Scalloped hammerhead sharks in the eastern Atlantic and eastern Pacific oceans as endangered, which means they’re at risk of becoming extinct.
The central Pacific population is considered fairly healthy and isn’t being listed.
Once listed, federal agencies will have to make sure their actions don’t jeopardize the species or harm the species’ critical habitat.
The main reason for exploitation is due to
- Increase in demand for shark fins leading to overfishing of the species. The high number of fibers content in scalloped hammerhead fins makes them particularly desirable for shark fin soup.
- Fisher men are catching juvenile’s sharks. This leads to decline in the population of the small ones. Thus population starts to decline dramatically.
- Sometimes, longline fishing fleets can accidentally catch the species leading to deaths.