US moves to protect scalloped hammerhead sharks

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HONOLULU (AP) — The National Marine Fisheries Service is listing four distinct populations of a hammerhead shark species as threatened and endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

The agency said Thursday it's listing scalloped hammerheads in the eastern Atlantic and eastern Pacific as endangered. The populations in the central and southwest Atlantic, and the Indo-West Pacific are being listed as threatened.

The central Pacific population — which includes scalloped hammerheads living in Hawaii waters — is considered fairly healthy and isn't being listed.

Hawaii Institute for Marine Biology shark researcher Carl Meyer says demand for shark fins is driving overfishing to deplete the species.

He says the high number of fibers in scalloped hammerhead fins makes them particularly desirable for shark fin soup.

The listing takes effect in September.

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