Sharks play an essential rol in the health of our oceans


CITES listed sharks: free shark fin identification guide on line

During the last CITES Convention of Parties in Bangkok, the porbeagle, oceanic whitetip and hammerhead sharks were listed in Annex II (for more information see
the excellent website Cites For Sharks (

David Fleetham/ (oceanic whitetip), Doug Perrine/ (porbeagle) and Chris & Monique Fallows/ (scalloped hammerhead).

But how can the fins of the newly listed sharks be recognized?

Dr. Demian Chapman Assistant Professor at the School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at Stony Brook University in New York and Deborah Abercrombie, a professional marine biologist with over ten years’ experience working with sharks and shark fisheries, have now published an online guide to identify sharkfins.

This guide, supported by the Pew Environment Group and the Roe Foundation, is based on data collected by examining more than 500 dorsal fins and 900 pectoral fins from over 40 shark species, including all of the dominant species or species groups in the international fin trade reported in Clarke et al. (2006). Conspicuous fin markings were also assessed for pattern and consistency within species using photographs published in the scientific literature and on the Internet. Fin sets originated in the United States, Belize, Chile, South Africa, Fiji and New Zealand and included a wide size range for each species. Fins and fin sets examined in this study were provided by fishermen, fin traders and scientists; no sharks were sacrificed for this Project.


Dr. Demian Chapman during a shark identification workshop

The guide can be used online, but also downloaded in six languages: English, French, German, Japanese, Chinese and Arabic.

You can find more information,  at and an explanation how the guide can be used at:

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