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  Sharks saved from soup fate
Updated 16 November 2002, 15.30
A Basking shark
The largest sharks found in UK waters have been given international protection.

Basking sharks are endangered because so many people around the world like to eat shark fin soup.

Hunters also threaten the shark as their fins can be sold for thousands of pounds.

Whale sharks

Although sharks have a bad reputation, animal rights campaigners describe them as "gentle giants".

But the British government passed a vote at the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species on Friday to protect the sharks.

Fact File
Basking shark
The sharks can grow up to 10 metres long
They weigh up to seven tonnes
Don't worry though, they only eat plankton

The agreement means that basking sharks can only be fished by those with licences.

The world's largest shark, the Whale shark, is also protected by the agreement.

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