DNA Sequencing Is Cracking Down on Shark Poaching

About one in five fish sold around the world are captured illegally. But proving that a fish was poached can be especially difficult once it gets to shore. Now, a new device is taking forensics to a genetic level allowing field experts to crack down on shark poaching.
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Illegal fisheries, today, is actually a really big business, So the US, for example, is the largest importer of seafood in the world. About 30% of that seafood, we think, comes from illegal fishing.

It’s kind of an international crime nexus at this point. And that’s what causes people to fish for sharks, take their fins, and then export these to various countries.

Technology has a really big role in improving our capacity for surveillance in the oceans, and for reducing ocean crime and wildlife crime.

#illegalfisheries #sharks #wildlifecrime #technology #wildlife #wildcrime #seeker #nature #conservation

Read More:
Up to 1 in 5 Fish Sold Is Caught Illegally—and Other Surprising Illegal Fishing Facts
https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/articles/2017/11/13/up-to-1-in-5-fish-sold-is-caught-illegally-and-other-surprising-illegal-fishing-facts
“Our ocean is under assault from a battery of threats that are damaging ecosystems, depleting fish stocks, and changing the marine environment. One of those threats gets relatively little attention but is both serious and solvable: large-scale illegal fishing.”

Shark Finning: Sharks Turned Prey
https://ocean.si.edu/ocean-life/sharks-rays/shark-finning-sharks-turned-prey
“Sharks have been feared hunters ever since people first observed them swimming in the vast ocean. Yet today, sharks are declining rapidly on a global scale because humans have replaced them as the ocean’s top predators.”

100 Million Sharks Killed Every Year, Study Shows On Eve of International Conference on Shark Protection
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/onward/2013/03/01/100-million-sharks-killed-every-year-study-shows-on-eve-of-international-conference-on-shark-protection/
“One of the most comprehensive studies ever compiled on illegal shark killing brings new startling statistics. An estimated 100 million sharks are killed every year around the world, a number that far exceeds what many populations need to recover.”

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Across the globe, elephants are poached for their tusks, pangolins for their scales, and totoaba fish for their bladders. Tackling the fourth largest crime industry in the world isn’t easy, but biologists, roboticists, detectives and even NASA scientists are getting creative in the hopes of making a difference. In this Seeker series, we’ll investigate true stories of wildlife crime and meet the people who are working to protect the world’s most endangered and persecuted animals.

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