Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Finning Ban

Read this:


Washington -- The House of Representatives passed the Shark Conservation Act of 2009 (H.R. 81) yesterday. This bill would require sharks to be landed with their fins still naturally attached, which allows for better enforcement and data collection in stock assessments and quota monitoring.
The Shark Conservation Act will improve existing laws that were originally intended to prevent shark finning. This legislation will also allow the U.S. to take action against countries whose shark finning restrictions are not as strenuous, labeling the U.S. as a continued international leader in shark conservation.
Oceana now looks to the Senate for fast action to enact the Shark Conservation Act into law. It is time for the U.S. to end shark finning once and for all.
Tens of millions of sharks are caught globally for just their fins each year. During the finning process, sharks are typically hauled up on deck, their fins sliced off and the animals thrown back to sea, often still alive."

Whereas this is very good news, for which Oceana needs to be applauded, I cannot help but being angry - again!

First, let's not kid ourselves: "Finning" is merely one -albeit particularly repugnant- technique and killing Sharks remains perfectly legal!
Don't get me wrong, banning it is certainly good Conservation! Not only is it an ethical imperative, it also reduces catches as the ships are now required to land, and thus store the whole carcasses instead of being able to fill their holds with just the much more valuable fins. So far so good, provided that it is intended as a first step towards a comprehensive ban on Shark fishing.

What pisses me off is the wording of the press release.

What's that Shit about "data collection", "stock assessments" and "quota monitoring"???

Guys, that's typical Fisheries lingo. What it means is: we plan to procrastinate until there's nothing left to protect.
What's there to "assess"??? Is there any doubt that Sharks stocks are severely depleted, with Oceanic species critically endangered? Haven't you heard that starting from today's levels, some species will take Centuries to recover - if all fishing stops now? What possible "data" need to be collected, I mean: additionally, in order to document a case that is so blatantly obvious and overwhelmingly documented?

Are those guys ever going to learn from the mistakes of the past? Maybe, for once, issue preventive measures first and if really needed, collect data afterwards?
Atlantic Cod Fisheries anyone? Scallop Fisheries? Orange Roughy?

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