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U.N. conservationist body adds sharks to species protection list

- The Washington Times - Monday, March 11, 2013

Delegates at a U.N. conservationist gathering in Bangkok have voted to clamp down on the shark trade, and they've added two new species to a threatened list.

The oceanic whitetip and the hammerhead are now protected by the Convention on International Trade and Endangered Species, or CITES, of Wild Fauna global agreement, The Belfast Telegraph reports.

Shark fins are popular in Asia, where they serve as the base of many of delicacies and gourmet food products, The Belfast Telegraph says. The United States joined with 10 other nations in cracking down on shark fishing and trade at the CITES conference.

The protection is needed because overfishing has threatened the population, The Associated Press reports. And more species might be added to the list; delegates are considering a similar protection plan for porbeagle sharks, AP says.

China and Japan opposed the addition of the sharks to the CITES list. Shark population is better left to the oversight of regional fishing management groups, the two nations argued, AP reports.

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