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Fisheries Department participates in Shark DNA workshop

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Posted: Wednesday, June 23, 2021. 2:42 pm CST.

By Zoila Palma: Today, the Belize Fisheries Department in collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Dr. Damian Chapman, Director of Shark and Rays Conservation Program at Mote Marine Laboratory began a 2-day workshop (June 22-23, 2021) on the use of a thermocycle DNA tool kit.

The kit will help to identify shark species harvested in Belize.

The workshop aims to build capacity within the Fisheries Department to conduct testing of shark tissue for proper identification of shark species.

The Fisheries Department says that this workshop will enhance the Department’s capacity to assess the shark population that is commercially fished and exported and address the challenges of illegal fishing and potential trade of protected shark species.

The workshop will also strengthen the monitoring and compliance with the international requirements for the export of shark species listed in Appendix II under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

The Fisheries department will receive a DNA tool kit, donated by Mote Laboratory which will better equip Fisheries Enforcement Officers to conduct in-house testing and contribute to the improved management of the shark fishery in Belize.

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