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Cathy Van Extel reports. It is also calling for tougher penalties for those who illegally harvest shark fins in this country. It may not be advertised on menus but the availability of shark fin soup is still there in restaurants. The high price tag reflects the cultural value of shark fins, which have traditionally been served by the Chinese at special functions to show the wealth of the host and respect for their guests.
Mahto says the international shark fin trade is responsible for the decline in many shark populations, especially species with large fins such as great whites and whale sharks. The convicted man was one of three fisherman arrested after a raid on their Maryborough fishing shack in April last year after a public tip-off about illegal mud crabs.
Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol district manager Greg Bowness says the discovery of so many shark fins took authorities by surprise. In the Maryborough case, authorities could not determine whether the shark fins were to be sold locally or on the overseas market, nor how the shark fins were harvested. Live shark finning, the practice of cutting fins from live sharks and dumping their bodies, is illegal in all jurisdictions in Australia, but marine conservationists have accused Australia of being complicit in the cruel trade by allowing imports of shark fins that cannot be traced to their source.
Data for shark fin imports to Australia has only been available for the past couple of years. Australia imported 23 tonnes in and 18 tonnes in Last month Faruqi introduced a private members bill into the NSW Parliament seeking to amend the Food Act to make it an offence to possess, sell, prepare or process shark fins or any shark fin derivative. The Greens MP says there is strong community support for such a ban, but the numbers in parliament are uncertain.
DNA 'fingerprinting' of endangered animals. As well as importing shark fins, Australia also exports them. Between and Australia exported tonnes, but in recent years the export market has declined. The organisation suspects fins are being stockpiled until prices improve. The recent drop in demand for shark fins is being attributed to effective public campaigns and a corruption crackdown in China. Mahto says such a ban would provide absolute certainty that Australia is not importing shark fins from countries that still allow live finning.
Listen to RN Breakfast to hear Cathy Van Extel's full report on conservationists' calls for a complete ban on the shark fin trade in Australia. This [series episode segment] has image,. How involved is Australia in the global shark fin trade? Thursday 18 June 4: Despite the cultural value attached to shark fin soup in China, consumption has dropped thanks to campaigns and a corruption clampdown by the government. Renewed calls to ban shark fin trade in Australia Download Thursday 18 June More This [series episode segment] has image,.
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