15 December 2005

Basking shark granted international protection

The basking shark has been granted international protection, following an agreement of world leaders at a conference in Kenya in November.

The world's second-largest fish is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List – the World Conservation Union’s list of species most at risk of global extinction.

However, as the shark is migratory it requires protection by multiple governments. The UK Government appealed to other nations before the conference in Africa to agree to new measures to ensure the survival of the basking shark.

UK biodiversity minister Jim Knight said it was essential to help protect the shark and conserve and restore its habitats and safeguard migration routes.

"We are incredibly lucky to have the basking shark as a regular visitor to our shores and it is appalling that an unsustainable demand for its meat and fins could be a real threat to its future," said Knight. "The basking shark is an amazing creature and I am determined that we do everything in our power to protect it."

Source: www.divemagazine.co.uk/news


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