Scalloped hammerhead and oceanic white tip sharks were denied protection at the Conference on International Trade in Endangered Species Tuesday. Many at the meeting were taken aback by the decision, and campaign group Oceana is calling it a big mistake, Reuters reported.
"It was a case of politics winning out over science," Oceana's Fisheries Campaign Manager Elizabeth Griffin told Reuters. "The parties made a bad decision today that really is going to jeopardize the shark populations in our oceans."
Japan, where shark fin soup is served as a delicacy, was the most vocal opponent to a shark ban, Reuters reported.
The sharks are not alone in getting the shaft. The polar bear and bluefin tuna were both denied protection at a recent UN conservation meeting, with countries arguing that the bans could have adverse effects on their economies.
WATCH Reuters' report on the failed shark ban: