Sunday, December 29, 2013

Shark Fin Bans - Debate!

This is frustrating.

And I cite.
Those who are against ALL commercial fishing for sharks, managed or not, sustainable or not, should come out and say it, and not hide behind a feel-good but flawed position that pulls at the heartstrings of the public whilst misleading them into thinking that finning is rampant off US shores. 
It is not! 

What we should be doing is the more difficult work of telling the truth and acting wisely on it.
In my view the US should focus domestic policy on:
  1. prohibiting the import of fins from countries without any finning laws and sustainable approaches to shark fisheries management
  2. bolstering domestic penalties for finning violations to eliminate the last vestiges of the practice here and
  3. promoting full utilization in our domestic fisheries that are managed for sustainability
Hear hear!
I totally agree with the first paragraph - but not necessarily with the conclusions!

So there, for the umpteenth time...
  • NOAA's approach is deeply flawed.

    Those fishermen are not fishing their own ocean, they are fishing the commons.
    Those Sharks don't belong to them or to NOAA, they belong to the public i.e. YOU - to whom NOAA is fully accountable!

    And the public has clearly expressed its will, and this not only by democratically enacting those Shark fin bans, but also by submitting thousands upon thousands of comments that have overwhelmingly demanded that those fin bans be respected.
    Unless the Legislative or the Judiciary decide otherwise, the NOAA bureaucrats have absolutely no business in changing existing laws - the more as there is clear evidence that this shit is merely happening at the behest of the special interests within WESPAC.

    NOAA needs to back off - or as a minimum and only if decreed by the competent authorities, they must engage in dialogue and come up with equitable compromises, something they have so far egregiously failed to do.
  • The mainland state fin bans are equally flawed.

    It makes no sense whatsoever -not ethically, not commercially and not in terms of conservation- to prohibit the retention of the fins of US Sharks that have been caught (and have already been killed!) perfectly legally - on the contrary, those bans of legally caught US fins merely unjustly target and punish domestic fishermen which is totally unfair.
    But at the same time, there have to be safeguards against the establishment of targeted fin fisheries for species that nobody wants to utilize otherwise, like Blues and Hammers, e.g by mandating (and not only promoting) the full utilization of those Sharks. Definitions aside, landing whole Sharks but then only retaining the fins whilst discarding the carcasses is exactly as wasteful and reprehensible as finning.

    If like the proponents declare, the aim of those bans is principally to curtail the import, transshipment, trade and consumption of suspect fins from other fisheries, then there should be exemptions for legal US fins and any other fins from verified sustainable and legal sources.
    The onus to prove that any Shark fins originate from sustainably managed fisheries and have been obtained by ethical and legal means should however reside squarely with who possesses them.

    But if the real aim of the bans is to curtail or forbid domestic shark fishing, then one needs to be honest, declare one's intentions and then openly work towards achieving those aims!
  • The fin bans in those Shark Sanctuaries are a different matter altogether.

    Those states and territories have decided to forbid any Shark fishing, and the bans are principally an efficient and effective way to ensure compliance.
    Re-read this!
Long story short?
There are solutions that protect Sharks to the extent where they need protecting whilst at the same time safeguarding the legitimate interests of honest fishermen - so how about more cooperation and compromise, and this from both sides, instead of the current unproductive confrontation!

Or am I missing something here?



The same NOAA who oft repeated BP'S ongoing lie about only 5000 barrels a day leaking into the Gulf?

The same NOAA who permitted a film and tv show to use protected species whale meat to hook protected white sharks at the Farallones in California?


Good luck with that one and god help the sharks.

DaShark said...

Yup, that's the one.

But, they are in charge.
And after many years of abject mismanagement, they now do a pretty darn good job at managing Fish stocks, including those Sharks - especially when compared to the overwhelming majority of fisheries agencies abroad!