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Q: endangered status of the stingray and shark used for shagreen ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: endangered status of the stingray and shark used for shagreen
Category: Science
Asked by: phoebe1585-ga
List Price: $30.00
Posted: 02 Jul 2006 20:05 PDT
Expires: 01 Aug 2006 20:05 PDT
Question ID: 742880
Is the leather-like material known as shagreen which is made from the
stingray, from an endangered animal?  If the product says it is made
from shark, would that be from an endangered animal?
Subject: Re: endangered status of the stingray and shark used for shagreen
Answered By: pinkfreud-ga on 02 Jul 2006 21:17 PDT
I have gathered some information for you. First, a bit about shagreen:

"Shagreen is a type of roughened untanned leather, formerly made from
a horse's back, or that of an onager (wild ass)... Shagreen is now
commonly made of the skins of sharks and rays. The word derives from
the French chagrin (anxiety, annoyance - a reference to the rasping
surface of the leather) which in turn is said to have developed from
the Turkish and Persian saghri, literally, the back of a horse... In
the 17th and early 18th centuries, however, the term 'shagreen' began
to be applied to a leather made from sharkskin or the skin of a
rayfish (probably the Pearl Ray, Hypolophus sephen). This form is also
termed sharkskin or galuchat."

Wikipedia: Shagreen

As you can see, the term "shagreen" is quite imprecise regarding the
exact species. If the shagreen is made from the skin of a pearl ray
(Hypolophus sephen) or a shagreen ray (such as Raja fullonica or
Leucoraja fullonica), then it does not come from an endangered
species. Most species of rays and sharks are not classified as
threatened or endangered, so the likelihood is that if you purchase a
product made of shagreen, it probably doesn't come from a species that
is in immediate danger of extinction. However, in order to be
absolutely certain that your shagreen does not come from an endangered
species, you would need to obtain the exact scientific name of the
species from which the skin came (information that may not be readily
available from merchants or leather dealers).

An excellent way to check on endangered or threatened creatures is to
search the database of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation
of Nature and Natural Resources). They maintain a "Red List" of
Threatened Species:

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Search

You may want to consider that the exact number of rays and sharks is
not known, and some marine conservationists believe them to be

"Here's a fashion trend you may or may not want to reel in: stingray
chic. Known in the trade as shagreen, stingray skin is making a bit of
a splash in the accessory department this season... But does
harvesting stingrays for fashion have an environmental impact?
Stingrays are not listed under CITES, the Convention on International
Trade in Endangered Species. But the stingray look has some experts
concerned. 'Because they aren't traditional, high-value fish food,
sharks, skates and rays are some of the most underprotected fish
species in the world,' says Sonja Fordham, an international-fisheries
specialist with the Ocean Conservancy, a private nonprofit that does
science-based advocacy on ocean issues. 'In most cases we don't know
how their populations are doing. Stingrays are just not as easy to
count as cows'."

Time: Can't Find Nemo? Try Stingray (Feb. 2, 2004),10987,993238,00.html

My Google search strategy:

Google Web Search: shagreen ray OR stingray OR shark

Google Web Search: ray OR stingray OR shark endangered OR threatened

I hope this is helpful! If anything is unclear or incomplete, please
request clarification; I'll be glad to offer further assistance before
you rate my answer.

Best regards,
There are no comments at this time.

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