By Michael Field
New Zealand is among the world's top 10 nations for killing and exporting sharks, including several species being considered for global protection.
The revelation is made in a report to the European Commission by world wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC.
Made up of the World Wildlife Fund and the International Union for Conservation of Nature, it works with the secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which sets protection standards.
The latest report looks at the trade in commercially valuable sharks and manta rays that are being considered for Cites protection.
The report says that between 2000 and 2009, 708,838 tonnes of fresh and frozen shark meat was traded, with New Zealand the 10th-largest exporter at 21,496 tonnes.
Spain topped the list at 123,848 tonnes, followed by Taiwan, Panama, Uruguay, Costa Rica and the United States.
Some of the nations appear to be importing unprocessed shark and re-exporting.
New Zealand is the world's fourth-largest exporter of non-fin, non-meat shark products, mostly liver oil and skins. behind Taiwan, Chile and Spain. More....