Saturday, December 05, 2009


Walt Stearns is a good guy (and brilliant photographer) and Doc is obviously a Shark God.

Both have put their weight behind trying to save the endangered Florida Lemon Sharks and for once, it looks like their lobbying and that of the good people over at the Shark Safe Network, and of many many others, are really having a positive effect.
So far so good.

But now, it's crunch time.
The Sun Sentinel has published this excellent overview of the current situation and if you're intrigued by the Lemon Shark aggregations it mentions, you can watch a short video of this amazing phenomenon right here, along with explanations by the Lemon Shark God himself here.

It is unique and also, highly vulnerable and needs to be preserved, as these may well be the breeding stocks of the entire Atlantic coast. They have also become a valuable resource for tourism, meaning that the Sharks are so much more valuable alive (as in 150,000 bucks per Shark over its lifetime) than dead.
Whichever way you choose to slice it, it is really imperative to see this through - and we are so close!

This is what's at stake.

The wildlife commission will decide whether to approve a draft ban (please read it, it amply explains why this needs to happen) on lemon shark catches at its Dec. 10 meeting in Clewiston.
The commission's ban would apply only to state waters, which extend three miles off the east coast and nine miles off the west coast. But the federal government, which regulates fishing up to 200 miles off the coast — except where that zone would run into the Bahamas — may follow Florida's lead if the state requests it. Karyl Brewster-Geisz, fishery management specialist for the National Marine Fisheries Service, said states normally request comparable regulations in federal waters for consistency.

Being my usual pessimistic self, I fully expect the fishermen to make a last stand in an effort to ditch, or delay the legislation. The way I see it, this is not a done deal quite yet.
For them, it's obviously about their livelihood and their families and for some, it's probably also about their penis size, at least for sociopaths like that sharkman, or whatever, I've just blogged about (and yes I'm being polite!).
In brief, expect backlash.

Please please please take the time to attend that hearing and to lobby for the conservation of Lemon Sharks in Florida.
This is not about being anti-fishing, it is about being pro-Shark and everybody is invited to remain polite (yes, like me!) and fact based. The Shark Safe Network has done and continues to do an excellent job in coordinating the effort and you should contact them and refer to their judgment when it comes to formulating common arguments and pursuing a common strategy.

Also, if you haven't already done so, sign the petition as the decision makers do certainly care about the public's opinion.

Thank you.

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