Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Shark Discards - Yes or No?


Do you agree that discards are madness?

And if it's a bycaught Shark - keep or throw away?
I say, if it is alive: release it if it's both endangered and protected, and keep it if it's neither. 
But what if it's endangered but not adequately protected? And what if it's endangered but already dead - discard  only the protected ones, discard them all, or keep them all as they are already dead anyway?
Thorny thorny!

Did you follow this story?
A fish monger had the audacity to legally buy, and then try and sell a 15ft, 250 kg Common Thresher that had died in a net - and the usual wailing hyenas went absolutely berserk. The abuse became so extreme to include death threats and threats to burn down his home and business premises. The intimidated fish monger has stopped marketing the Shark (the question being, did he end up throwing it away?) and has pledged to donate any profits to a marine conservation agency.

First things first.
This is a fucking disgrace and I sure hope everybody agrees.
What that fisherman and the fish monger did is perfectly legal, and the abuse, let alone the threats heaped upon them are simply unacceptable - or are we now gonna start condoning, promoting and applauding doing the same to every single fisherman, fish monger and sushi restaurant that trade in those threatened Atlantic and Southern Bluefin, and Bigeye Tuna? How about the European Eel?
And the list goes on and on and on...

The good people at the Shark Trust are perfectly correct.
The consumers can send a strong message by refusing to buy those products irrespective of their legality - and many of course already do, and the trade is shifting as a result.
Of course it's equally a disgrace that like in the case of those Tuna, the fisheries authorities have not implemented science-based catch limits and the provision of special protection for those threatened Shark species - but then, be angry at them, not at some poor sod that is trying to make a buck, and this perfectly legally!

And anyway.
How about you stop foaming at the mouth and for once channel all that energy to where it will have a real effect. Support the Shark Trust's and the Shark Alliance's efforts to reform the European fisheries laws - and this not only with noise but also with donations as those causes are bloody lengthy and expensive to run, and those conservation folks got families to feed, too. Or get involved and actually do something! Or if yer too bloody busy, stop complaining and at least go to the polls - and then vote in politicos that champion ecological causes!

And the dead bycatch?
Are we really gonna throw away food that is perfectly good, albeit only if consumed in moderation - or may there be other, maybe a tad more unconventional solutions?

As I said: thorny thorny!


Vee said...

I agree that the threats go way too far. Informing them on why it is wiser not to sell it would be better : they might actually think twice next time and decide not to sell it next time.
One little remark though : from what I know Shark Alliance has ceased to exist after the EU changed the finning policies. Sad, there is still much more to do here in Europe and the Alliance was a great organization.

DaShark said...

Thanks for the info - it just goes to show that I'm way too far removed from Europe!

And thanks for that statement.

I'm very much on the fence on this.
On one hand it would very much simplify the enforcement and curtail any shenanigans if all protected species could not be legally landed irrespective of the circumstances, like it has been legislated for the Porbeagle.

On the other hand, like in the case of those Fish discards, throwing away 250kg of food doesn't sound right, either.

I still think that forcing them to retain and land, and then donate it would be the smartest solution.