Pew’s global shark conservation campaign developed Identifying Shark Fins: Oceanic Whitetip, Porbeagle and Hammerheads to help users rapidly identify dried shark fins found in fishing ports, sold by seafood dealers, or traded across international boundaries.
Many experts agree that it is necessary to monitor the trade in fins of five shark species of concern: oceanic whitetip, porbeagle, and three species of hammerhead (scalloped, smooth, and great). These species are globally distributed and large-bodied, and their fins are traded internationally in large numbers. All of these species have been proposed for inclusion in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which identifies species that could become threatened without trade regulation.
This guide describes the key characteristics that can be used to quickly and easily distinguish the first dorsal fins of these five species from other types of shark fins in trade.