Fiji Time: 11:03 AM on Wednesday 14 October

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Shark fin trade under spotlight

Shayal Devi
Wednesday, February 12, 2014

CUSTOMS officers on the frontline of border security can now play a major part in the banning of imports and exports of shark fins.

Assistant professor for New York-based Stony Brook University Dr Demian Chapman, who is in the country for a shark conservation workshop in Nadi, will train Customs officers on correctly identifying shark fins.

He said this was especially important as shark fins were hard to identify after they were dried out.

"I will be showing the delegates how to identify the fins of the different protected sharks just by using the eyes and this can be done by identifying certain characteristics," he said.

"Some of the species of sharks in the Pacific are traded to Asia for shark fin soup so it's extremely important for the border security personnel to know this and correctly identify the fins of different species."

Dr Chapman said his team had been carrying out research for the past three years.

"The work goes beyond the three years as work has been going on for several years."

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