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First practical test for monitoring shark trade

lantic fishery, they are relatively easy to distinguish because the latter has larger paddle-like fins with rounded white tips.

To make the screening more efficient, the researchers combined the shark tests to see if they could analyze for six species at once. The combined test was also nearly 100% accurate, again with the exception of the dusky/oceanic whitetip false positive.

Shivji and his colleagues then used the combined test on 75 dried fins from the Hong Kong commercial market. The results showed that the traders did not always identify the fins accurately: notably, 10 of the 55 fins designated as silky were actually from other species.

Next, Shivji and his colleagues plan to develop genetic tests for the roughly 35 major species of exploited sharks. They also envision panels of tests to target the groups of shark species that are characteristic of different parts of the world. So far, the researchers have found that they can test for up to 10 shark species at once.


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Contact: Mahmood Shivji
mahmood@nova.edu
954-262-3653
Society for Conservation Biology
22-Jul-2002


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