Sunday, December 14, 2008

Whithout a Lobby

Back to the serious side of life and a timely post alerts me to the plight of the Bluefin Tuna.
It's a great piece and I invite you to go check it out and to follow the links.

Thing is, they are not alone.
Across all Oceans, all Apex Predators are on the verge of extinction and contrary to the Sharks that have finally attracted some advocacy, nobody seems to care much about the other species. Or is there really a grassroots Movement that lobbies against the extermination of the various Tuna and Marlin, the Broadbill and the like? Dunno, really, but I fear that the principal Organizations dealing with this topic are more likely concerning themselves with how to kill them in the most efficient, and just maybe, in the most "sustainable" way (often, not even that).

Am I boring you?
Is that maybe because contrary to the case of Sharks, our Western "Civilizations" are among the principal consumers, along with being some of the worst perpetrators?

We boast about having established "Dolphin-free" Tuna nets - but what about the Tuna?
Does their life carry less value, I mean ethically, than that of another very similar animal , the only difference being that we have chosen to eat one and not the other?

Do I hear "Sentient", maybe even "Extraterrestrial" , "Ambassadors" or "Matrix Energetics"?
Yeah right...

Sure, agree, one has to choose one's fights and mine is Saving Sharks.
Still, we need to keep an eye on this. Not only because of the problem with the bycatch but also, because all is interconnected anyway and the slaughter will impact oceanic Sharks in ways we may not yet know. Species Protection always equals Habitat Protection and the other Oceanic Predators are undoubtedly an integral part of the equation.

You may want to keep that in mind next time you decide to indulge in Maguro Sushi or vitello tonnato. Or Sharkfin Soup - because ethically, it's the exact same thing.


Anonymous said...

I could not agree more ... thanks, Mike, for posting this.

It is very true that probably we will see certain tuna species (certainly the tasty ones) going extinct way before the majority of sharks. And of course it has to do with the fact that not only the Japanese and Asian people love tuna et al., but all the rest of the world goes crazy about it as well!

Let me say this loud and clearly: If you want to protect and save sharks efficiently, stop eating tuna, shrimps and the great majority of overexploited fish and seafood products (or at least scale down your consumption of this precious marine resource).

Anonymous said...

Hey Mike,

I agree but this problem is the same for every living species on earth... so what do we do ? Eat no more ? Sounds tricky but but the only (bad) solution is to bread tunas as we already do with salmons...
Taste will be far away from wild ones but what esle could we do ?

Olivier from Energy Trip

DaShark said...

Bonjour Olivier!
Nice website with nice products u got there!

I'm personally not against killing animals for food, not domesticates and also not wildlife.

This may sound controversial, but I even believe that we should have a proper mix - breeding domesticates carries another set of problems, as in destroying native ecosystems to make space for pastures, etc.
As in: Australians should eat more native kangaroos and not insist on trying to raise imported cattle.
It's complicated...

But if we decide that we want to eat wildlife, we must harvest it sustainably. Difficult to implement but that's the general idea.
And yes, some can be bred (like deer) or fattened like tuna - obviously, with other negative consequences as already witnessed in salmon and shrimp farming.
As I said, it's complicated.

The crux of the problem is that there's too many people and not enough resources - but that's another story altogether.

The gist of the post was however not really that.
What I wanted to point out is that only because we happen to like some animals more than others, they are not automatically worthier of protection - it's a highly interconnected web and we should always be mindful of trying to preserve biodiversity and not be so focused on determined species we happen to like.

Consequently, to make an example, despite the fact that our principal aim is to protect coastal Sharks, we're equally trying to preserve, and conduct research on the reef habitats they live in.