One hot topic at the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora — yes, there is such a thing, and it was going on Tuesday in Qatar — was the protection of certain species of shark that provide the key ingredient in sharkfin soup. Save the spiny dogfish! –KA

New York Times:

The nations gathered in Doha, Quatar for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora rejected proposals that would have required countries to strictly regulate — but not ban — trade in several species of scalloped hammerhead, oceanic whitetip and spiny dogfish sharks.

The hammerhead and whitetip proposals, introduced by the United States and the tiny Micronesian island of Palau, received majority backing. But the treaty behind the conference, known as CITES, requires that measures be approved by two-thirds of the delegates who are voting. A proposal from European Union and Palau to protect porbeagle sharks squeaked by with a vote of 86-42, with 8 abstentions — a winning margin of one vote. All of the votes were held by secret ballot.

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