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There is international agreement on protection of 18 threatened species of sharks and rays. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) agreed on Sunday to give greater protection for marine creatures from actions such as commercial fishing and hunting. Many of threatened species are hunted for their meat and fins. Some of species being protected are world's fastest shark ( mako shark), wedgefishes and guitarfishes. Luke Warwick of Wildlife Conservation Society said: "Sharks are vulnerable wildlife....Momentum is clearly building to ensure that these species, which have been around for 400 million years, continue to be around for future generations."

CITES is international treaty established in 1973 to protect endangered animals and plants. It has been signed by 182 different states, plus European Union. There was not widespread agreement at weekend's meeting. The focus of meeting was on protecting sharks. The number of sharks killed each year by commercial fishing is estimated at 100 million. One conservation group said this figure could be as high as 273 million. Forty countries disagreed that mako shark was in danger. They argued that there was not enough evidence to show that mako was disappearing as result of fishing. The global shark fin market is estimated to be over $1.2 billion.

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