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Federal announcement gives hope to tope shark's advocates

Tope shark.
Used with permission from Aquarium of the Bay
Tope shark.

Earlier this year, we reported on efforts to get the tope shark listed as an endangered species. Now a recent announcement by the federal government is giving supporters hope.

This week, the National Marine Fisheries Service said the tope shark – also commonly called the soupfin shark – may warrant protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The announcement follows a petition from the Portland-based group Defend Them All, as well as the Center for Biological Diversity.

Kristin Carden is a scientist with the center. She’s excited and hopeful.

“When a species is listed the agency has to designate critical habitat, areas very important for the species to survive," Carden told KLCC. "And the United States is involved in import and export of shark fins and shark products, so a listing would help restrict that trade.”

The tope shark lives in temperate coastal waters worldwide, including Oregon. Its numbers have dropped 88 percent over the last 80 years from overfishing and getting entangled in Mexico’s gillnets.

Brian Bull, KLCC News.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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