diving with shark fin

Posted: June 9, 2008 in conservation, fisheries, sharks
Tags: , , , ,

Schooling HammerheadsI have been watching the new conservation film ‘Sharkwater‘ over and over, an incredible documentary on the decimation of our worldwide shark populations by Rob Stewart. As an avid shark lover this film moved me. The combination of whale harpooning in the Antarctic, fur seal clubbing in Canada, and shark finning in the Galapagos helps drive home the truths about illegal activites and fishing that occurs right under our noses and in some of the worlds most amazing and protected areas.

Did you know that there is so much money in shark fins that only trafficking drugs rivals fins for profit. It disgusts me that over 70 million sharks are slaughtered around the globe, of which many are only hunted for there fins with over 95% of the animal thrown back to sea to slowly and painfully bleed to death.

It is obvious that common misconceptions of sharks has grown from the media, and through movies such as Steven Spielberg’s infamous ‘Jaws’.

Being the top predator of the oceans for almost 400 million years, the shark is one of the only animals to remain unchanged throughout time. From a scientific standpoint, drastically reducing the population of sharks performs catastrophic changes in the eco-system. The last ice age formed because of a total of 1 degree celcius drop in the temperature of the globe. Wiping out a top predator in our oceans will alter the levels of other sub predators and eventually right down to plankton feeders. The results of these changes is obviously unknown, but never before has a top species been so close to extinction in our lifetimes as the shark is right now.

Sharks take 25 years to reach sexual maturity, and many live as long as humans.

In the Galapagos, one of the most protected underwater reserves in the world, ‘Sharkwater’ unveils illegal fishing vessels dropping long-lines stretching over 60 miles. These contain upwards of 16,000 baited hooks catching sharks, turtles, and sea birds, in and attempt to catch only tuna or market fish. Can you imagine laying 60 miles of bait hooked line through the forests, catching gorillas, deer, rabbits, snakes, lizards, and kangaroo… all in an attempt to catch a squirrel. It disturbs me to see the footage of columbian fishermen finning live sharks and throwing their carcass back to sea.

Rob outlines the following statistics, comparing shark attributed deaths to other fatalities:

Sharks kill 5 people each year.

Elephants and Tigers: 100

Execution: 3500

Illegal drugs: 22,000

Road accidents: 1,200,000

Starvation: 8,000,000

If you are at all interested in protecting our oceans and marine life just as we protect tigers and eagles, or preserving the amazing underwater world that we visit on those brief occasions under the blue, then rally your local dive club, check out the Sea Shepard Conservation Society and get them along to see ‘Sharkwater‘, if only so the next generation of divers can experience what we can.

  1. jauipop says:

    I love how Sharkwater has affected so many people and compelled people to write about it on their blogs. I’ve dedicated my blog to an anti sharksfin campaign in Malaysia and hopefully it will pick up speed soon (i only started it yesterday).

  2. Ben Cashman says:

    It is good to see it being placed in the spotlight and for the world to be brought up to speed on the useless and violent slaughter that occurs in the open oceans.

    You should send me the link to your blog, I would love to check it out.

  3. jauipop says:

    haha… yeah, this new thing called blogging… still getting used to it


  4. […] Scuba Chronicles, “diving with shark fin” […]

  5. Dan says:

    Good to see people are realising the truth about sharks now. Weve all got to work together to spread the word and stop shark finning.

  6. I have a blog, http://www.fishfrontier.com, and I was wondering if I could post this shark image on my site? I will credit you and put a link to your blog for the caption

  7. Ben Cashman says:

    Hi Fish Frontier, the image is actually from another website (their link is in the bottom right corner of the image). You should approach them about using the image, but if you reference them or display their link, I do not see it as being a problem.

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