Paper suggests that 100 million sharks are caught annually

Shark fin wastage

The Marine Policy journal has published a paper that attempts to provide an up-to-date and scientific assessment of the number of sharks that are caught each year. This number has been in dispute for some time, but the new paper seems to suggest that the number of sharks is around 100 million per year. The vast majority of these are caught to satisfy demand for shark fin soup. The CITES conference, due to start in Bangkok tomorrow will discuss adding five shark species to its endangered list.

The paper:

Estimates the global catch and mortality of sharks from reported and unreported landings, discards, and shark finning. are being estimated at 1.44 million metric tons for the year 2000, and at only slightly less in 2010 (1.41 million tons). Based on an analysis of average shark weights, this translates into a total annual mortality estimate of about 100 million sharks in 2000, and about 97 million sharks in 2010, with a total range of possible values between 63 and 273 million sharks per year.

This level of consumption is considered unsustainable.