Blue Shark Trade to Be Regulated

Economy Society

Tokyo, Nov. 28 (Jiji Press)--Countries have decided to regulate trade in blue sharks under the Washington Convention, the Japanese Fisheries Agency said Monday, a move that could affect Japan's shark fin exports.

Signatory countries to the treaty, officially called the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES, meeting in Panama, decided to list 54 species of requiem sharks, including blue sharks, on Appendix II.

Appendix II covers species that may become endangered unless trade is regulated, including bears and corals. Commercial trade in Appendix II species is not banned, but a government permit is required for their exports.

The decision to list the shark species on Appendix II will take effect in a year. Japan plans to suspend the protection. But if importing countries endorse the measure, Japanese shark exporters may be asked to present government permits.

The northeastern prefecture of Miyagi accounts for a bulk of Japan's blue shark catches. The country exports shark fins to such CITES signatories as Singapore, Vietnam and Hong Kong.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press