I would ask you to help me stop this irresponsible sports fishing operator who kills tiger sharks here in the Virgin Islands. Unfortunately, Tiger sharks, despite being listed as "Near Threatened", are not protected in territorial waters as long as they are not being taken in parks or MPAs. Yet, this is very disturbing. I have been living and diving in the USVI for the past 14 years. We see sharks from time to time on SCUBA, but it is rare and sightings of Tigers almost exclusively happens during turtle hatching time when the Tigers move in for the "buffet". A few weeks ago some local fishermen dragged a Tiger out of the waters and killed in there on St. Croix. This was in response to seeing several tigers eating a leather-back turtle. The intention of the fishermen was probably good, albeit misguided. We need our tiger sharks and other predators in the ocean to act as "housekeepers" weeding out the sick, slow and unfit for reproduction. Without them our fish stocks will collapse. Most of the old-time fishermen who have been fishing here for generations understand this. They have seen what has happened with the fish populations. Although there are some greedy bad apples, I haven't yet seen a local fisherman who would go out and target sharks. Now a new problem has crept in to our "paradise". Some "cowboy" who isn't really a fisherman set up an operation on the island of St. John last fall. His big thing is that he kills tiger sharks. Weirdly he is combining this with "showing off the sharks", even putting scubadivers in the water while reeling them in. It is appalling! He does not seem to have the faintest clue about how interconnected all species in the ocean are and what role the Tiger shark plays in the ecosystem. In fact he seems to think he is doing turtles and marlin a "favor' by killing off the Tiger sharks! I f you can spare a moment, I would be sincerely grateful if you you could follow the links below to his facebook group and youtube tiger killing video and let him know your opinion on running a business like this. With education, awareness and information, we can hopefully convert this killer into an ambassador for sharks.
facebook group here
youtube channel here
Edited by Marjo, 30 April 2011 - 02:21 PM.