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Shark depletion


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#21 Cybergoldfish

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Posted 28 January 2003 - 08:13 AM

Fair comment: Yes, I wish I had put more choices in the poll and I am approaching Eric to see if we can add a few more, then Zero it again.

Concerned:
Need to know more:
Like to offer support:

There are links to the full factual article - educational, as well as the pictures posted.

Links to the Shark Trust and more links going in to other organisations web areas.

To voice concern simply add your thoughts on the matter as requested in the opening post.

#22 james

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Posted 28 January 2003 - 08:24 AM

Bob,

If the whole shark is eaten as food, then what's the difference between that and eating another apex predator, for example a Tuna? People are going to eat fish - there's no stopping that.

I'm just throwing an alternate point of view in here btw.

I think it is senseless to kill a shark only for its fins and I have never and will never eat shark fin soup.

Sharks suffer tremendous pressure because they are indescriminately caught in drift nets, long lines, purse seins, and literally "thrown away."

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#23 Cybergoldfish

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Posted 28 January 2003 - 08:53 AM

I continually see programmes on the TV proving this macabre act IS going on allover, although more specifically in Asia. What are these governments doing about it.  Absolutely F*** all.

It's not really fair to say that these governments are doing nothing... Both the Malaysian & Indonesian governments are introducing formal educational plans for schools as the only way to combat the problem is by breeding out of their people beginning with the youngest generations. This is the only way that it can be effective amongst races of people with deep seated attitudes and little concern for the environment that is ironically the saviour of their people.

Even today the older generations risk fines and imprisonment by blatently fishing in the Nation Parks designed as havens by the respective governments.

Sangalaki Island off eastern Borneo (Indo): We were diving in 2 boat groups on a Manta cleaning station, My group were waiting for the first to ascend as a fishing boat came racing between the 2 boats dragging hooks! Well, yes, I lost my Rag and questions about parenthood and nural capacity were flung in his direction... The guides are too frightened to act against them.

#24 Cybergoldfish

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 04:14 AM

Here's a shark people rarely see - A member of the mackerel shark family, the Atlantic Portbeagle

Just a shame this one is dead!

#25 yahsemtough

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 06:46 AM

Here is an email I just got from Jim Abernethy.

Critical information!

Subject: Have a Heart, Speak Up for Sharks!

Dear Friend,

I thought you might be interested in this Ocean Action
Network e-activism campaign. If you go to the URL below
you can check out what is at stake and send your own
message directly to the relevant decision makers.

http://actionnetwork...k=Qd1EwFF1EcF-W

Jim Abernethy
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all photographs posted Todd C Mintz

#26 scottyb

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 07:10 AM

Bob, I think it is fair to say that most of us here share in your disgust of the photos and news programs that we see concerning this topic. It is as grotesque as killing a rhino for it's horns or a gorrilla for it's hands or an elephant for it's ivory. It seems like you have to stop the demand before you can stop the supply and that has to come from governments. Since the demand, in this particular cause is so far away, most of us feel almost powerless to help other than being good ambassadors and spreading our knowledge about this creature. I, for one, am behind you 100% but feel that my resources are very limitted. It would help if we had a little direction in ways that we could support that were feasible given our current situations in life.

#27 Cybergoldfish

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Posted 02 February 2003 - 07:52 AM

Thanks Scotty,

Todd has supplied a useful link via Jim which is quite interesting and can offer us a more direct route to voice our concerns...

Big thanks to Jim for this info.

#28 Dave H

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 01:41 PM

Just to show a bit of support for the sharks, I have attached an image that was taken about 3 years ago of a grey nurse shark off the east coast of Australia. Anyone notice what is wrong with the poor critter? ;)

Oh yeah, the grey nurse shark is completly protected in Australian waters and is Australia's most endangered marine species. Some fishers just don't get it :angryfire:

#29 Dave H

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 01:45 PM

and this was the final straw for the poor shark. After swimming around for almost 3 years without any fins the shark was incidentally caught on a setline.

It is commonly known as bycatch...

#30 Cybergoldfish

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 01:51 AM

That's an amazing story of survival against all odds, and quite sickening - Wrong place, wrong time, on two occasions.

#31 kweller

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Posted 02 March 2003 - 02:35 PM

Sign up at Sharktrust

SHARK PROTECTION LEAGUE

I'm one of the 'Knew about it - done nothing' votes. That's not because I don't care, I do - I am disgusted by the sight of de-finned sharks being thrown back into the water - but because I had (have?) no idea what I can do about it.

Spurred on by your comments I went to look at a couple of the urls you quoted. First up was the Shark Protection League where a single page entry told me about work they had done in 1995 - what happened after that? Next I tried the Shark Trust which was a much nicer site full of interesting news but I couldn't find anything that told me what they actually did with the money they collected or, come to that, what they have actually been doing at all (lots of news about what other people are doing).

So, I'm listening and I'm interested. What do these people do and where can I view their accounts on line? If I am convinced they are doing something worthwhile with the money they collect Lyn and I will sign-up tomorrow.

Kevin

#32 Cybergoldfish

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Posted 02 March 2003 - 04:04 PM

Hi Kevin,

Thanks for your interest... Not too sure what has happened on the SPL site, I'll try and contact them tomorrow.

The Shark Trust fights the cases for sharks and rays to be entered into protective custody so to speak, they have got the Basking Shark listed already. Then there is the ongoing battle to bring legislature into the European arena for protection of all sharks entering our waters during migration (Blues); awa the ever deminishing residents, that include the Port Beagle - I have only ever seen 1 of these in all my life.

There is also a lot of work done by ST towards CITES listings of endangered species.

The ST is funded by public donation.

You could always give them a call as they are not too far from your location, they will send you out an information pack. email

Cheers,

Bob

#33 Gwangi

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Posted 02 March 2003 - 08:29 PM

Hi everyone,

Just got on this tread. Way I have to said might be said before...

Anyway in Malaysia, it very hard to get people to understand the shark problem, first, everyone think that shark is a problem and should be gotten rid of. Is I will have to blame the medias for this views. They only print headlines about sharks attacking people and not highlighting the status of the falling global sharks population. I have videos and pictures of the sharks and every time I show it to some non-divers and they thinks I'm nuts getting into water with all this sharks around.

Second, shark fins soup is a status symbol. Most formal chinese dinner must have shark fin soup, to save face for the host. I have proven to lots of people the the soup is the same if that is no shark fins in it. It's in there just to thicken the soup. I have boycotted lots of dinner because they are serving the soup. Did not go well with my relativites and my bosses but a least they know now why I do not take shark fins soup.

I have not been on any shark dives, but I have seen lots of shark in my dives around Malaysia. Every time I see a shark I am struck by the gracefulness of it in the water. In Sipadan, there are not alot of reef shark around, and they are not very shy of divers but they do not borther any of the divers as long you keep your distant. I do not know if the population is falling as I have started diving only about 3-4 years. Divemasters in Sipadan said the the reef sharks population is okay and think is going up but the ocean going (forgot the word for it) like whales, hammerheads and grays is getting harder to see every years.

I don't know if there is any researchs done on sharks around Malaysia but I think it going down the drain.

Anyway that my two cents worth....

#34 Cybergoldfish

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Posted 03 March 2003 - 08:00 AM

Hi Gwangi,

There are a lot of misconceptions in South East Asia as a whole about sharks, for generations they have been classed as an evil creature of the deep. One reason why Shark fin soup was held so highly as a status symbol and dished up at special events is just because of it's morbid romance - The great danger involved in capturing the beast against overwhelming odds meant it didn't come cheap. In the days dating back into antiquity this may well have been the case when a fishermans catch was intercepted by a shark. The battle then to land the beast on a tiny canoe and taking it back to the village led to this myth if you like. Fisherman rarely went out to take the shark as the flesh is tainted with urea, which in turn would mar the taste of anything else they had caught. More often than not it was thrown back, but kept if the days catch was slack.
Then there is the debate about the consumption of the soup being an age old treatment or prevention of cancer... mmm'

The Malaysian Government has listened to the reasoning from conservationists and dive concerns such as the long established Borneo Divers. When the case was put forwards that sharks disappear if nothing was done. The case was also put forwards regarding diving and eco-tourism and how this would be directly affected too. Now, children as young as 4 are learning about their marine heritage at school and the important part that the shark plays within the marine environment.

I was in Sipadan last year and the shark life has decreased 10 fold to what it was in the mid 80's, but we were still able to observe small gatherings of grey and whitetip together with several hammerhead.

Northern Sulawesi too was decimated by Taiwanese fishing concerns stretching nets across the Lembeh straits. The death toll here of thousands of sharks was added too by dugong, dolphin, whale shark & turtles. Now you are very lucky if you see anything more than a white tip. In October last during 35 dives we saw just 3 white tips in areas that should have been filled with reef sharks.

The only way to remove this deep seated ignorance is by breeding it out - If you try and reason with an established fisherman or ask why he takes sharks he would threaten you with a gaff! One reason why the diveguides stay away from confrontations.

Of course money, and in this case millions of dollars a year speaks louder than words, gestures or even the future of our seas. It is good someone like you has stood by their morals, surely but slowly this will spread throughout these younger generations as lifestyles change and become more globally uniform.
In the mean time the shark sadly unbeknown to itself faces oblivion...

#35 kweller

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Posted 05 March 2003 - 12:31 AM

You could always give them a call as they are not too far from your location, they will send you out an information pack. email

Thanks Bob, I filled out the request for information on their web page.

I had a look on the Charities Commission web site to see if either of these bodies were registered charities and was quite surprised to see that neither of them appear to be.

#36 MikeO

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Posted 05 March 2003 - 05:09 AM

I am very sympathetic to this topic but am curious about something. Last week, a local National Public Radio station had a segment on the depletion of the shark population and invited two experts to weigh in. Both were very clear in making the point that sharks are disappearing and that it is "bad". Interestingly, the moderator kept going back to the same question over and over again, "OK, what is the affect on *us*", explaining that unless people feel a particular personal need to care about something, they won't. This is not a problem with just this issue but it is a problem nonetheless. The response of the experts was to say that there was really no way of knowing what the effects would be -- they even declined to give possibilities. I know, from reading some articles, that the squid population in many parts of the world is increasing, possibly due to the removal of the large fishes from the vicinity. How does one make the people in Iowa, who've never even seen the ocean care?

So what? Well, the two guests avoided the question by saying essentially what Bob has said: "The children will save the sharks." However, pro-shark organizations are against catching sharks for aquarium exhibits, baiting sharks for photography and videography, etc. I guess my question is this: Is there already enough on the Discovery Channel to truly catch the eye of kids today? I live close to the National Aquarium in Baltimore here in the US. My niece, who will turn five soon, was excited to see the sharks there until two neighbor girls explained to here that she would be eaten by them. She tried to run screaming from the exhibit but once she saw that the animals would not hurt her, she instead became very interested. I guess what I'm saying is this: If pro-shark organizations hold firmly to the belief that people people, kids especially, will change their thinking based only on poorly-written, sensationalistic (not that the problem isn't about as bad as it could get), politically-aimed diatribes from pro-shark people, they are deluding themselves. Children need to be instructed by patient, reasonable people and need to make a personal bond with the animals. Though it makes me a bit sick every time I see an exhibit at Sea World, I have to admit that without them showcasing the animals, the fight to save dolphins wouldn't have been as successful -- and dolphins are CUTE! Of course another consequence is that now everyone expects wild dolphins to act like the ones at Sea World . . .

Anyway, was just thinking about this so I thought I might as well offer it up. I've got the flame-retardant-bulletproof vest on!

Mike

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#37 Dave H

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Posted 10 March 2003 - 03:26 PM

The IUCN shark specialist group are currently here in Australia discussing the plight of all shark species.

Here's a link to an article on the meeting:
IUCN Shark Meeting

The future looks very bleak for many of our shark species... :P

#38 MikeO

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Posted 13 March 2003 - 09:44 AM

Interesting article:

http://www.cnn.com/2...tudy/index.html

Mike

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#39 kweller

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Posted 29 March 2003 - 02:23 AM

You could always give them a call as they are not too far from your location, they will send you out an information pack. email

Thanks Bob, I filled out the request for information on their web page.

I had a look on the Charities Commission web site to see if either of these bodies were registered charities and was quite surprised to see that neither of them appear to be.

...and one would have thought that 3 weeks would have been enough time to send me that information but it would appear not.

So just to summarise: - the SPL has a web site that implies they've done nothing since 1995, the ST has a web site that says a lot but doesn't (to me anyway) explain what they themselves have done nor how they spend the money they collect and they don't seem very interested in telling me; neither of them appear to be registered charities.

I don't want to be contentious but it's not really surprising people aren't rushing to swell their coffers is it.

#40 Cybergoldfish

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Posted 14 April 2003 - 04:56 AM

Hi Kev,

Sorry for the delay - I was in Egypt, then returned almost straight to the maternity delivery room!

I think the problem at the ST presently is due to a change in leadership. The Originator Clive James has stepped down and I am not too sure who has taken his place as yet. I know the packs are in great demand and there is often a shortage as the request base gets global. Did you give them a call?

Cheers,

Bob