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Title: Diversity and origins of giant guitarfish and wedgefish products in Singapore
Authors: Choo, Min Yi
Choy, Christina Pei Pei
Ip, Yin Cheong Aden
Rao, Madhu
Huang, Danwei 
Keywords: CITES
DNA barcoding
endangered species
IUCN Red List
shark fin
South-East Asia
wildlife trade
Issue Date: 27-Feb-2021
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Citation: Choo, Min Yi, Choy, Christina Pei Pei, Ip, Yin Cheong Aden, Rao, Madhu, Huang, Danwei (2021-02-27). Diversity and origins of giant guitarfish and wedgefish products in Singapore. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 31 (7) : 1636-1649. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
Abstract: Giant guitarfishes (Glaucostegidae) and wedgefishes (Rhinidae) are some of the most threatened marine taxa in the world, with 15 of the 16 known species exhibiting global population declines and categorized as Critically Endangered according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. The recent inclusion of all species in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) necessitates more rigorous enforcement by regulatory authorities. Challenges in regulating the trade of giant guitarfish and wedgefish products due to difficulties in visual identification of processed products and labelling issues impede enforcement. The aim of this study is to characterize the diversity and origins of associated traded products that were commercially available in Singapore, one of the world's top importers and re-exporters of shark and ray products. A total of 176 samples of elasmobranch products were obtained between June and December 2019 from fishery ports and various retailers in Singapore. By applying cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene barcoding, 31 elasmobranch species were detected, with 55% of the species considered threatened (Critically Endangered, Endangered, or Vulnerable) based on the IUCN Red List and 35% of species listed in CITES Appendix II. Four species of giant guitarfishes and wedgefishes were commercially available to consumers in fresh forms of whole fish, fillet, and fin, as well as dried and cooked meats. DNA barcoding has proven to be an effective tool for identifying elasmobranch products that are impossible to recognize visually and would aid enforcement of CITES trade regulations. This work underscores the urgent need to step up enforcement of marine wildlife regulations and draw public attention to the elasmobranch trade. © 2021 The Authors. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Source Title: Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems
ISSN: 1052-7613
DOI: 10.1002/aqc.3553
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
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