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SharkNews
PRESS RELEASE – for immediate use

Shark Trust

Rope Walk, Coxside

Plymouth

PL4 0LF


17 January 2003

 

Shark Trust Calls for Global ban on Shark Finning


Publication today of a damning report on the collapse of the shark population in the North west Atlantic (Baum  2003)[1], has brought peoples attentions to the stark reality of the plight of sharks in waters closer to home.

Baum’s report shows declines of up to 90% in the catch rate for certain shark species, such as the Hammerhead and White Shark. These statistics are unfortunately mirrored in the North east Atlantic, for example European commercial catches of Porbeagles are now 0.5% of what they were 30 years ago, and species such as the Common Skate, which at one time accounted for nearly 30% (by weight) of the fish landed at Bristol, are now locally extinct in the very same region.

Sarah Fowler, Trustee of the Shark Trust and Co-chair of the IUCN Shark Specialist Group said 'This report confirms our long-held fears: that overfishing is not only driving large coastal sharks towards extinction, but also depleting oceanic shark stocks; vital species for maintaining the stability of marine ecosystems.

It highlights the urgency of obtaining a total world-wide ban on the practice of finning, which is causing the deaths of millions of sharks every year.'

The impact of over fishing on shark population is exacerbated by their reproductive strategy.  Sharks can take many years to reach sexual maturity; have long gestation periods; and give birth to few young. The natural rate of increase of a shark population is just 1-4% per year, in comparison to the 30-40% increase displayed by bony fish. Spiny Dogfish for example have a 22 month gestation period and give birth to 20 live young. Landings of Spiny Dog fish have shown an alarming decline - 35,000 a day were landed in Plymouth in the 1940s, to land 20 now considered ‘good’.  

Many shark species are highly migratory, and as such spend time in waters where they are afforded no legislative protection. Basking sharks migrate throughout the year, leaving the relative haven of our coastal waters, entering international waters where they are more vulnerable to unscrupulous fishing practices, encouraged by the high prices offered by fin traders. A single basking shark fin can fetch up to &#3615,000 on the Hong Kong market. Other species such as Blue shark are highly migratory, and readily cross the Atlantic - in the North west Atlantic a 60% decline in Blue shark has been observed, and in the North east Atlantic significant numbers of Blue sharks are caught as by-catch from the long-line fisheries, mounds of Blue shark carcasses a regular sight in the fish markets of Northwest Spain.   Elasmobranchs are non-quota species and with the decline in traditional commercial fish stocks they are coming under increased pressure as an alternative catch - at what stage does a species stop being classed as by-catch?

It is clear that shark numbers are decreasing at an alarming rate, and on a global scale. If we are to halt this dramatic decline action must be taken on a global scale.  The Shark Trust is campaigning for a global ban on shark finning and asks you to support this campaign by signing an online petition found at www.sharktrust.org.

Last year 100 million sharks were caught and killed.

The Shark Trust is the UK’s only registered wildlife charity which is dedicated to promoting the study, management and conservation of sharks skates and rays worldwide.  For more information see The Shark Trust Online at www.sharktrust.org.  Trust supporter subscriptions are £20 per year.  

For further information read the Science article detailed below and visit the Shark Trust's website.

____________________________________________________________

[1] Julia K. Baum,* Ransom A. Myers, Daniel G. Kehler, Boris Worm, Shelton J. Harley, Penny A. Doherty. (2003) Collapse and Conservation of Shark Populations in the Northwest Atlantic. Science. Vol 299 pp.389-392.

___________________________________________________________________________

The Shark Trust is supported by WWF-UK, Scottish Natural Heritage, English Nature and the Countryside Council for Wales
 

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It should have been done long ago. The only problem is that if the market is still there then 'finners' will just do it on the side. People need educated that any product with shark fin in it is a bad thing. No demand, then theres no point in supply.

Peter
 

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And it doesn't stop there, if you want to get a handle on the awful state of our planet, you may want to start with 'The Sixth Extinction', by Richard Leakey and Roger Lewin (Doubleday, 1995).

Assuming we don't kill ourselves off in one of the myriad ways we've invented, what do you think future generations wil say feel about we humans in this time period? Pretty much the same as we think about Neaderthal man I reckon 'primitive, relatively unintelligent and unable to adapt to changing conditions'
 

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Look at what happened on Easter Island. A whole population killed themselves off through in-fighting and no thought for their surroundings. The idiots used up every single tree on their island in a race to build those big head things. This then left them with no fertile land to plant crops on and no trees to build fishing boats. So they started fighting over the animals that were left. Pretty soon there was no animals left and still no trees to build boats to escape the island in. They were trapped in a #### of their own making thro' greed. The parallels this programme made were almost fortune telling. The boffins reckon this is a smaller version to what we are doing to Earth, except our vast sea is space and our island is the planet. We will all end up fighting, killing everything and using all the natural resources. In fact, it's not a case of 'we will' more 'we are'. Then we will end up on a desolate island in the middle of nowhere with no escape.
It truly is a scary thought.

Peter  

(Edited by peter k at 7:34 pm on Jan. 17, 2003)
 

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True Story:

When I lived in the Maldives, me and the rest of the dive centre staff went along to the Island resort management and said:

"Take Shark-fin Soup off the menu tonight...or no-one gets taught to dive here..."

Well, after various threats to recind our work permits and throw us off the island, he realised he had no where to go and that night, new menues were printed - sans the Fin Soup!! Just gotta have the desire and balls to make the change dude.

NO MORE SHARKS DYING !!!! I much rather prefer to dive with them!
 

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Whilst I was on holiday I met a Scot who has lived in Japan for the last 15 years.

He does a great deal of business with Chinese and Hong Kong Chinese that make up a great part of the demand for shark fin. He said that the best way to stop the demand was to really publicise the hightened mercury levels that can be found in sharks and that the nercury in tern will cause erectile disfunction.

His view was if the Japanese and Chinese think that sharks fins will cause Mr Floppy to make an extended visit then BINGO no shark trade.
 

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Bren, as you haven't done so I thought I'd post this on the BSAC site too, even if it's only to see how much s*** I get from the crowbar brigade ;)
 

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From The Times

August 08, 2005

British Trader to export shark fins

By Rajeev Syal

AN ENTREPRENEUR is circling Britain’s shark population, preparing to make a killing in the Far East’s restaurant trade. Trevor Page, a fish dealer from Lowestoft, Suffolk, plans to catch and kill about 300 sharks in British waters each week, starting next month. Mr Page has drawn up a contract to export dorsal fins to restaurateurs in Hong Kong and the rest of China. Shark’s fin soup is a prized delicacy there. Conservationists said that they were appalled at the plan, which, they said, would upset the balance of marine life around Britain.

Ali Hood, the director of conservation of the Shark Trust, a charity, has written to Ben Bradshaw, the Fisheries Minister, demanding that Mr Page’s plan be stopped.

Miss Hood said: “Sharks are an integral element of a healthy marine ecosystem and the suggestion that UK vessels should devastate our native population for the satisfaction of foreign markets is galling. EU vessels currently supply in the region of 27 per cent of the fins entering Hong Kong markets, a shocking statistic, but one that to date UK vessels have made little or no contribution to. It would be a lamentable step backwards if a UK company were to encourage this abhorrent trade, marketing the fins of an already vulnerable species.”

Mr Page, 55, a fisherman and wholesaler for 40 years, plans to catch the tope shark, or Galeorhinus galeus, also known as the soupfin shark, which is not protected by law.

The tope rarely comes into contact with man because it usually swims at depths of 200ft-800ft. It feeds on fish and crustaceans. It was seen as a delicacy in California and Australia, but populations have been reduced by overfishing.

Mr Page said that his company, W.E.T. Mullender, would use lines to catch the sharks. While the fins will be exported to the Far East, he will export most of the flesh to Sri Lanka. He will also consider hooking other sharks including smoothhands, another native to British waters.

He said: “The shark population has dipped in the East, and we have a good supply, so it only seems right that we come to an arrangement.

“I will only target mature tope, not younger ones, and want to work with conservationists, not against them. The tope is a lovely tasting fish. We have a lot of them, so why not sell them? I don’t understand the problem.”

IN THE SOUP

600g of tope shark
2 cloves of plump garlic
1 bay leaf
Olive oil
60g of flour
Bunch of coriander
Crusty bread
Vinegar to taste
Salt to taste

Wash sharkmeat, slice thinly. Fry garlic and some coriander with bay leaf and splash of vinegar. Stir in flour. Add the meat and enough water to cover. Bring to boil, simmer until cooked. Season. Garnish with chopped coriander
 

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Gavin Yates said:
Whilst I was on holiday I met a Scot who has lived in Japan for the last 15 years.

He does a great deal of business with Chinese and Hong Kong Chinese that make up a great part of the demand for shark fin. He said that the best way to stop the demand was to really publicise the hightened mercury levels that can be found in sharks and that the nercury in tern will cause erectile disfunction.

His view was if the Japanese and Chinese think that sharks fins will cause Mr Floppy to make an extended visit then BINGO no shark trade.
Probably onto something here:
Given that even a well educated Chinese or Japanese man will happily spend literally thousands of dollars for a slice of Tigers knob / cup of bear vomit / bowl of soup made from Bat mucus / ground up fingernail substance from a rhino horn in order to supposedly increase his virility - then anything that detracts fropm that might well put him off.

The problem of course is that serving your guests shark fin soup traditionally conveys enormous status on the person serving it, and that is very important to many people from the far east - so other methods might have to be employed as well that deal with that too.
I was thinking along the lines of - say you find a restaurant that serves it - mention to the manager that while serving sharkfin soup to someone from the far east is considered to be an honour - it is the gravest of insults to even have it on the menu when serving westerners - as it is considered to be a food that only thew most ignorant of peasants will eat.
 

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Every time I read another finning story, my blood boils. As well as the Shark Trust, there's another organisation that does some great work in helping our fishy friends.

For all that don't know it, Bite Back have got news items along with email campaigns to help put pressure on supermarkets etc to get their act together and stop the slaughter. Not everyone can afford to give money, but I urge everyone that sees this message to visit their website and give some time to send off a few emails.

Thanks,
Colin.
 

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Trader to export shark fins

Although at least the whole fish will be used rather than just the fin, this still seems a bad thing..... ideas for a YD protest?

(Edit - removed the quote from the Times - as this is already in this thread - I started another thread without realising it was allready going - thanks to mods for moving...)
 

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Well Page says, "I will only target mature tope, not younger ones, and want to work with conservationists, not against them. The tope is a lovely tasting fish. We have a lot of them, so why not sell them? I don’t understand the problem."

The problem, Mr page, you dumb [email protected][email protected] is that if you kill 300 a week, there won't be a lot of them for very f**king long!

[email protected]+
 
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