International authorities take 'historic' step to curb shark fin trafficking

Delegates at a global summit on trade in endangered species have taken a "historic" step to extend protection to 54 species of shark.

The agreement made at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in Panama City on Friday aims to tackle the lucrative shark fin trade.

Panamanian delegate Shirley Binder told AFP the "historic decision" would mean that many sharks making up 90 per cent of the market would now be protected.

Shark fin soup is viewed as a delicacy in Asia and is often served at weddings and expensive banquets.

The proposal was adopted by consensus on the final day of the two-week meeting by delegates from 183 countries and the European Union.

Studies say the number of threatened shark species has more than doubled in the last decade.

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