Stop Shark Fishing & Finning In Thailand

  • by: The Dive Tribe
  • recipient: Suwit Khunkitti -Minister for Natural Resource and Environment
It's too barbaric to imagine, but it still happens. Fishermen catching  sharks at our local Dive Sites in Thailand, and also finning where the sharks fins are cut off and the shark cast back into the water to die. This horrific practice is already prohibited in the marine parks in Thailand but with evidence collected it seems to continue without punishment.

Your signature can encourage Thailand to prepare and implement plans for shark conservation and management.

This petition implores Thailand to stop the fishing of sharks at our local dive sites and the banning of finning in there local waters and around the dive sites. 

Sharks play a critical role in ocean ecosystems. Their numbers are beginning to dwindle. Please help them today!!

Sign Now to encourage Suwit Khunkitti -Minister for Natural Resource and Environment  to take action immediately to protect the shark populations in Thailand and stop shark finning.

Dear Suwit Khunkitti,

We are writing to you to call to your attention the growing threat to a 1.1 billion dollar industry that affects your nation as one of the top 10 recreational diving tourism spots around the world. The annual share to Thailand is very substantial and is a growing investment in the economic well being to your region.
These days with ever increasing %u201CEco-Consciousness%u201D among the international community at large, Thailand cannot afford to ignore such a substantial industry. This brings us to the topic of concern, namely the exploitation of this resource in the form of unregulated fishing of Manta Rays and Sharks.
Coral reefs and eco-tourism diving draw divers from around the world and an economic study of Mu Ko Similan National Marine park in Thailand showed that divers are willing to pay about US$27.07%u201362.64 per person per annum on average, resulting in aggregate benefits of between US$932,940 and US$2.1 million per annum. Now this is a case study of a single park. Protecting this economic resource as well as species of interest should be a primary concern if Thailand is to make the best use of this natural source of revenue. The present value of these aggregate benefits ranges between US$31 and US$71 million, using a social discount rate of 3%. That is a substantial profit for the Thai people and government.
This is a case study of a single park in Thailand. The unregulated harvesting of sharks and manta rays is having a profound impact on the region. With the diminishment of these key species as well as the death of coral reefs around the world market studies indicate that more and more dive tourism will be focused elsewhere and this will in turn affect the profit margins of your nation.
Divers report sharks and large rays as a primary draw to any dive site and 27.8% of divers intentionally target those reef and dive areas in which the greatest abundance of sharks and rays may be found. Removal of these animals for profit or pleasure will have a very strong negative impact on tourism and thus the economics derived from this industry.

We wish to bring to your attention a few reasons why conservation of sharks and manta rays is so critical to your region. The first and most obvious is the relationship between these animals and a healthy reef. It is a well-known fact that reef systems in which there is a healthy population of sharks and rays tend to be more diverse and contain a stronger bio-diversity than those eco-systems that lack sharks and rays. Additionally sharks, rays, and cetaceans consume massive numbers of small fish and crustaceans, which in turn eat phytoplankton and algae. The oceans provide us with 70% of our oxygen. They also absorb over 80% of carbon dioxide.
As shark and ray population plummet around the world, their prey species continue to experience population explosions, and thus consume the springtime bloom of phytoplankton. Thus O2 levels around the planet continue to decrease while CO2 levels increase. CO2 ( Carbon Dioxide ) is a greenhouse gas that is superheating the planet.
As this continues and global warming increases it is killing the worlds coral reefs in a process that is called %u201CCoral Bleaching%u201D ( Acidification of the water ). This takes place as warmer temperatures kills the coral and it is replaced by brown and red algae. These types of algae produce carbon dioxide, which in turn contributes to the problem and leaches alkaloids from the water. This contributes to the problem as a self-destructive cycle. Healthy oceans require a good healthy stock of sharks and rays.

The final reason why curbing this industry is so critical is the fact that all apex marine predators carry large loads of toxins that are accumulated in the bodies of their prey species. The industrialized nations of the world have dumped a wide range of chemical and industrial/commercial waste products into the oceans for years. These toxins, metals, and chemicals have been building up to the point that they are now surfacing in greater and greater volume in all of the major predators.

Such toxins include POPs ( Persistent Organic Pollution ) such as DDT and PCBs. Also massive loads of methyl-mercury, lead, and cadmium among other toxins. The affects of methyl-mercury in mammals and humans are well studied. One needs only look at the example of Minamata Japan if you wish to fully grasp the severe nature of mercury poisoning.
Symptoms include loss of neuro-motor control, spasms and shakes, corrosion of skin and mucous membranes, degradation of the nervous system, promotion of cancers and diseases such as Hodgkin%u2019s Lymphoma, Parkinson%u2019s disease, Alzheimer%u2019s, and spinal disorders. It also causes blindness and impotency.

Understanding the risks that are posed to those fishermen and their customers who consume the meat or body parts of these animals it is easy to recommend a ban on such fishing, or a strong regulation of any such harvesting within your nations waters. Such a moratorium is not only a benefit to the dive-tourism economy of Thailand, it is also a measure of protecting those people who are unaware of the damage that this practice poses to themselves as well as the eco-systems of both your local region and the worlds oceans at large.
We would invite you to join the growing list of nations and peoples who are starting to take strong protection and prevention measures for the well being of our future as a species. If you have any questions or concerns we will be happy to address them and to work with you in any capacity in which we may be of assistance to you and your government.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration in this critical matter. We look forward to hearing back from you and working with you on these issues.

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