Enhancing morphological tool to identify shark fins: Combating the international illegal trade

Grantee Universidad Veritas, San Juan Costa Rica
Location Latin America
Grant Amount 21,300
Duration One year
Type of Grant Small

The enforcement of CITES regulations is a critical issue, mainly due to the deficiencies in differentiating unprotected shark species from those listed by CITES. This project aims to develop a new software and cellphone App for the identification of shark fin species, offering a simple and efficient alternative to regulate international trade. Image analysis will be carried out to achieve this goal based on digital invariant correlations between an image problem and the species-specific composite filter (SSCF) created. The SSCF has information on morphological variations of the target species (i.e., species listed by CITES) for each type of fin and shark species. This information will be integrated to create software and an App. Both tools will be tested at ¨shark fins ID workshops¨ performed on different countries, providing a different approach that can ensure adequate enforcement compliance with CITES easy, fast, and reliable identification of shark species.