Tuesday, August 19, 2008

WWF to World-10,000 sharks a year "unsustainable"

Using data from the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service, the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) has revealed hundreds of tonnes of shark fin are being exported from Australia every year.

They say on a conservative estimate that is the equivalent of 10,000 adult sharks.

The WWF is using the figures to add weight to its call for the Queensland Government to ditch a proposal to issue specific licences to target sharks.

The Federal Government says a final decision is yet to be made but it will take a precautionary approach.

WWF's Dr Gilly Llewellyn says the appetite for shark fin overseas which Australia appears to be feeding, is insatiable, and in the past 13 months 230 tonnes of shark fin have been exported from our shores, mainly to Asian markets.

"Using a really conservative estimate using the largest possible size of shark, using a low fin to weight ratio, that's still 10,000 sharks that would have needed to be killed for that amount of fin," she says.

Dr Llewellyn says there is no scientific evidence to show whether that amount of shark fishing is sustainable.

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