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Help Prevent Shark Fishing On The Great Barrier Reef
By Jason Heller, May 27, 2008 @ 02:00 AM (EST)

During a time when "Australia links organised crime to illegal fishing", claiming that species such as sharks are particularly vulnerable to the pressures of organized crime backed efforts to fullfill demand, the Queensland, Australia Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries is creating a dedicated shark fishery of their own.

A disturbing new proposal may establish a dedicated shark fin fishery within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and other marine parks in Queensland, Australia.

Here is a response from the Australian Coral Reef Society

Shark Savers has also posted a petition that we urge you to sign, which helps protest:

  • Licensed shark fishing in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. The Great Barrier Reef is a delicate ecosystem and one of the world’s most important marine protected areas. Shark fishing should be off-limits within the entire Great Barrier Reef area because sharks are critical to a healthy reef ecosystem.

  • Creation of a dedicated shark fishing industry. There is no reason to believe that establishing new licenses for shark fishing will result in improved sustainability in the absence of meaningful restrictions.

  • A non-enforceable catch 'trigger' of 700 tons of sharks. The 700 tons 'trigger' matches the current level of catch, does not reflect scientifically determined levels of sustainability, and is not a true 'ceiling'. Reaching the catch trigger will not stop further shark fishing, but merely triggers a 'review'. Serious restrictions are warranted, such as a firm catch limit and enforcement.

  • Fishing for threatened or endangered shark species. Only 4 species are protected by this proposal while 28 Australian shark species are listed by the IUCN's Red List or Australia's EPBC as endangered or threatened. To allow fishing of 24 species that are nearing extinction is by definition unsustainable and irresponsible.
Further information can be found on the Australian Marine Conservation Society's (AMCS) website, and on this blog as well, Neutral Dive Gear.
AMCS also has a form letter that you can send to the Australian authorities. Please help send the message that these actions are unacceptable and unsustainable.
For the sharks!

 

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