When sharks are caught and finned the resulting dried product becomes an instant cash crop.
Fins are sold for $200-500 per pound USD.
Over the past decade this "harvest of disaster" has decimated shark stocks worldwide, bypassing even the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Appendix II demands for monitoring and enforcement of endangered shark species.
Once dried sharks fin hit the open marketplace even endangered species fin cannot be traced back to the original "crime scene."
All that has changed with the stunning announcement of new DNA tests that geographically tag fins and identify species back to their home waters.
For shark conservation this single tool could lead to a serious curtail of shark fin sales globally until certification measures could be put in place to all but guaranteed bundles of dried sharks fin contained no endangered species.
A great tool. Now for the hard part, cross border political will to actually enforce CITES Appendix II.
Complete press release.