Underwatertimes.com News Service - May 24, 2010 22:46 EST

The Permanent Representative of Palau to the United Nations, Ambassador Stuart Beck, today called upon the international community to impose a Moratorium on Shark Finning.

At the commencement of the Meeting of the States Parties to the Fish Stocks Agreement, Ambassador Beck said that the annual unsustainable taking of 73 million sharks a year, principally for their fins, is proof positive that the international system to conserve sharks has broken down. While efforts such as those of Palau President Johnson Toribiong in declaring the world's first national shark sanctuary are important, they must be complemented by an international regime which does not undermine national efforts.

Ambassador Beck said:

"The slaughter of sharks for their fins to make soup is as needless and cruel as the killing of elephants for their tusks to make ornaments. People of conscience the world over shut down the ivory trade and saved the elephant from extinction. The island nations are sounding the alarm: only concerted outrage can save the world's sharks from being slaughtered for the delectation of soup lovers".

To coincide with the Fish Stocks Meeting, the Mission of Palau has organized a photographic exhibition entitled "Sharks Attacked: The Scandal of Shark-Finning" at the Lobby of the North Lawn Building of the United Nations. The exhibition will run from May 24-28.

The Exhibition will be officially opened with remarks by Fabien Cousteau, the world renowned conservationist, at a Reception to be hosted by the Palau Delegation at the North Lawn Building from 6-8 p.m. on May 24th.