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Conservation Status of Sharks
In reality humans kill many more sharks than sharks kill humans. For every fatal shark attack, it is estimated that up to 10 million sharks are killed by man. Sharks fins are now amongst the most valuable of seafood products and are primarily harvested to make Shark Fin Soup. Large ‘trophy' fins can sell for up to $20,000 each. In addition, and depending on species, shark teeth and jaws, shark liver oil, shark cartilage and meat are also highly valued.
Sharks are typically long-lived creatures, take many years to sexually mature, have long pregnancies (in some cases up to 2 years) and produce relatively few young (usually 2 – 30). The combination of today’s highly efficient fishing techniques and a massive demand for sharks has resulted in the huge overexploitation of many shark populations. The result in many areas has been the destruction and even near-extinction of some shark populations, as well as increased shark fin prices and fishing effort. Shark species are regularly being added to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, but very few countries are implementing sustainable shark fishery policies and regulations.
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