Unraveling the trade in wedgefishes and giant guitarfishes in Singapore

Choy, Christina Pei Pei, Jabado, Rima W., Clark-Shen, Naomi, Huang, Danwei, Choo, Min Yi, and Rao, Madhu (2022) Unraveling the trade in wedgefishes and giant guitarfishes in Singapore. Marine Policy, 136. 104914.

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Wedgefishes (Rhinidae) and giant guitarfishes (Glaucostegidae) are amongst the most threatened marine taxa globally. Research was undertaken in Singapore, a globally significant trading hub for shark and ray products, between May 2019 (two months after they were proposed for listing on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES)) and August 2019 (three months before listings entered into force). The study documents the composition of imports and landings, estimates the scale of the trade, describes the supply chain, and analyzes completeness of product labels through surveys in fishery ports and retail markets as well as informal interviews with traders. Of 590 individuals recorded at fishery ports, 215 from six species could be identified to the species-level. Rhynchobatus australiae was the most commonly encountered wedgefish species (66%) while only one species of giant guitarfish (Glaucostegus typus) was recorded. Individuals were primarily claimed to be imported from Indonesia and Malaysia. The high value of wedgefish fins was evident as a large proportion of individuals without fins (66%) were recorded. Businesses in Singapore were utilizing by-products of the fin trade which appeared to have a distinct supply chain. Traders noted declining supplies of wedgefishes and dried shark fins in recent years. Shark and ray products notably lacked information on species and country of origin on their labels. Findings here provide baseline data for determining the effectiveness of new trade controls and suggest that a multi-pronged approach with trade monitoring, additional traceability and labeling requirements, and enhanced fisheries management would conserve globally declining, wild populations.

Item ID: 78230
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-9460
Keywords: CITES, Fin trade, Fisheries, Supply chain, Traceability
Copyright Information: © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Date Deposited: 10 May 2023 23:54
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 40%
30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3005 Fisheries sciences > 300505 Fisheries management @ 60%
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