Posted 01 August 2007 - 03:13 PM
I posted this originally a couple of days ago in shawnh's post (conservation forum) re this subject, and have had a pretty poor response, less than ten people from wetpixel have mailed me with their names. COME ON GUYS!!!!
we are making a presentation on ecuadorean tv this friday, and i am arriving in ecuador to present this petition in mid august. it will be presented to president correa, the minister for tourism and also the british and american ambassadors in ecuador. i need emails direct to me with your name, title and location (country), and i want as many names on here as i can get. please support.
my letter is below, write your own if you wish. i've had good response from other sources, i can only hope that my posting mid thread is the reason people might not be responding here. a few good hearted men have offered to actually print a letter and sign it with a real pen, so if you want to do the same then please email me for my address and i will gladly lug paper with me in my luggage. email@example.com
here again is the letter.
thanks in aniticipation
Econ. Rafael Correa Delgado
Presidente Constitucional de la Republica del Ecuador
I am writing as one of many of a collective of concerned individuals over the future of many species of shark in Ecuadorean waters. We are calling on you from the international community, to reverse your decision to lift the ban on sales of shark fins in Ecuador.
The Galapagos Islands are one of the worldâ€™s most famous locations where large numbers of sharks can still be found. We believe that current fishing practices are endangering the future of the Galapagos and also of many shark species. Although the waters around the islands are protected, this area is relatively small compared to many sharksâ€™ migratory behaviour. Increased fishing activity, even outside of the marine reserve will have a devastating effect on the Galapagos as a future tourist destination and also crucial world reserves of shark populations. Coastal waters also act as a breeding ground for sharks, many of which may come from Galapagos waters.
Ecuador is well placed to lead other Latin American countries forward as a role model for tourism. Tourism can provide substantially better incomes than other subsistence means of living, and a more secure future for Ecuadorean people. Further income from tourism also relieves the pressure on livelihoods of those staying in traditional employment as they have less competition for resources and can better manage their own futures. I implore you to make a decision that is right for all of Ecuador and replace this ban on shark fin commerce.
It was with great hope that I saw you come to power last year that you would lead this country from many years of political instability and corruption. For this reason, I was severely disappointed that you have taken this decision on such a vital issue, and hope that you can understand the importance of what is at stake. Your decision has endangered the whole ecosystem around Ecuadorean waters.
Sharks are vulnerable to any fishing pressure due to their slow growth rate, late sexual maturity and low numbers of young. They need full protection as of now. We ask you to make a decision in favour of sharks today.
Posted 01 August 2007 - 05:17 PM
Posted 04 August 2007 - 11:45 AM
email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted 05 August 2007 - 08:58 AM
Posted 23 August 2007 - 08:05 PM
Wetpixel member Mark Harding is on the ground in Ecuador investigating the shark fin situation and presenting his petition to various government offices. Here is an update he has asked me to post.
am still on the ground in ecuador, ear to the floor, finding the absolute best and most effective way to present the petition to the right people.
the situation is far from clear, as the media are making an absolute meal of the fin debate, and firing whatever they can at correa. much of which isnÂ´t helping anyone, least of all the sharks.
i have visited some ports on the coast, and shark numbers beached dont seem to be any greater than they have been in recent years. what has changed is that now, government fisheries inspectors are in every port monitoring incidental bycatch and issuing licenses with which the fishermen can then market the fins. it is important to note here that artesanal fishemen here tend to use the whole shark and personally i have never seen a panga arrive with just fins in it, before or after decree 486.
so, for the first time in ecuadorean history probably, there exists official wholesale monitoring of incidental shark fishing. what the government intend to do with these figures, we do not yet know, but personally
i see that as a step in the right direction. it is true what the president says, that before the decree, the trade still existed, no one knew how much even in the slightest, just that it was illegal. at least now there are some steps towards control.
we hope to use the petition to lever things towards a favourable outcome, given that marketing of fins in any form cannot and should not be encouraged.
in the meanwhile, the good news is that liveaboards can now operate diving again in the galapagos, and despite much media turmoil, the galapagos have always maintained fully protected status, with decree 486 implemented for coastal regions only. this also according to wwf heavyweight and new galapagos governor elicier cruz.
what world NGOÂ´s now have the chance to do, is to include protection of coastal shark populations in their spending plans and call for protection and sustainable management of all ecuadorean fisheries, not just those of the galapagos marine reserve as has always happened in the past. i have for the last few years believed that galapagos poulations will continue to fall even if absolute marine reserve protection is afforded the islands due to the simple fact that migratory behaviour allows sharks to be slaughtered outside of the reserve, namely on the coastal fisheries.
in the meanwile, it is absolutely imperative that we keep up pressure on all governments to assign protective status to all sharks species in danger, as with this politically important tool, we can keep the pressure on.
it is also exteremely important that the galapagos tourism industry thrives, and that it continues to grow, hence providing realisation amongst ecuadoreans and galapagenians that their future lies in the wellbeing of it, and not in the fishing industry. to not visit as a choice of concience against the fin situtation i believe woud be wrong and damaging in the long term.
if anyone would like to discuss any of the above or offer support in our ongoing, probably lifelong campaign to protect these waters, please email me on email@example.com
i will continue to update on this issue