Congratulations go out to Dr. Mahmood Shivji, director of the Guy Harvey Research Institute, who is once again gaining national attention for his work in identifying endangered shark species that are being traded indiscriminately in the international shark fin market.
In new developments, Dr. Shivji and his colleagues from Stony Brook University have determined that some of the fins being sold in Hong Kong seafood markets are from hammerhead populations in the western Atlantic. That these sharks are being harvested thousands of miles away from the Hong Kong market is in itself a very troubling situation. Compounding the problem even further, however, is the fact that the hammerheads of the western Atlantic are severely overfished and may not be capable of sustaining the demands of the Asian markets, which covet the long strands of cartilage in the hammerhead’s fin. Armed with data from Dr. Shivji’s findings, the United States will seek protection for several species of hammerhead at an international conference in early 2010.