Every year, up to 73 million sharks are slaughtered for their fins, meat, cartilage, liver and skin. And 30% of shark species are threatened or near threatened with extinction.
In the Bahamas, sharks bring in ecotourism and are treasured members of the ecosystem. Yet even in this tropical paradise that took the strong step to ban longline gear 15 years ago, more could be done.
Two Bahamians, dive master Cristina Zenato and conservationist Pedro Baranda, have joined forces with local Bahamian and international environmental groups including The Bahamas Humane Society, The Bahamas National Trust, EARTHCARE, Friends of the Environment, The Nature Conservancy, Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation (BREEF), reEarth and the Pew Environment Group to support shark conservation in the Bahamas.
Tell Bahamian authorities to put in place permanent protection for the sharks of the Bahamas before it's too late.
Dear Bahamas Prime Minister, Minister of Tourism and Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources;
I am writing to ask you to ban the import, commerce, and exchange of shark meat and derived shark products such as cartilage, teeth and fins in the Bahamas. Furthermore, I am asking you to ban the fishing, capture, and slaughter of sharks in all of the Bahamian waters.
The Bahamas have a reputation as shark diving capital of the world. The income generated by sharks that are alive supports an industry that spreads beyond the local dive stores to include airline companies, hotels, souvenir stores, restaurants and every part of the Bahamian economy that depends on travelling shark divers. Yet even in this tropical paradise that took the strong step to ban longline gear 15 years ago, more could be done.
The world's population of sharks is depleting at a staggering number of 73 million per year. There is a vast demand for shark fin soup, which supports the very cruel practice of capturing the sharks, cutting the fins off while still alive, and throwing them back in the water to die of a slow, agonizing death.
Sharks are especially susceptible to overfishing because they generally grow slowly, mature late, and have few young. Recognizing this vulnerability and creating Shark protection is a vitally important cause if we wish to maintain a healthy balance in the world's oceans.
Protection of Sharks in Bahamian waters is becoming a large consideration in the fast growing eco-tourism sector, and the Bahamas need to embrace the battle to protect those animals which are the vital centre of a vast part of the economy.
By banning the import, commerce of sharks and all sharks parts, fishing and slaughter of sharks in all Bahamian waters, the Bahamas will reach the top position in the world's headline news as a prime example of an environmentally conscientious Country run by an enlightened government.
Over 20,000 Care2 members signed the petition to ban shark finning in the Bahamas, and the Bahamian government responded and has now banned commercial shark fishing in Bahamian waters. To read the success story, click here.
Keep up the great work. Look what you've accomplished!
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