Tuesday, April 26, 2011

FijiLive on Sharks!

Fiji's Shark population - still in good shape but increasingly threatened.
Another stellar wallpaper pic by Tatiana!

Fiji is talking Shark Conservation, and that's a good thing.

Quite a bit has happened recently.
There is now a dedicated Facebook page, Fiji Shark Defenders that mirrors the highly popular Shark Defenders, the Econesian Society has launched a pro-Shark petition and even the venerable Islands Business has posted an article about how the Pacific island Countries are leading the way in Shark conservation.

That's the backdrop for the call from Tevita Vuibau of FijiLive.
The immediate aim was to get an opinion about the petition. As always, it's a difficult one when one has to comment on the efforts of good people trying to do good things by pursuing the wrong aims.
The MoU on the Conservation of Migratory Sharks is just that, a non legally binding Memorandum of Understanding that is not even flanked by any proper management plan. You can read its wording here. To me, it's not much more than a lot of blahblahrahrah and if its ontogeny (as in years of preparation including delegate meetings in Mahe' and Rome, no less) is any indication, it will be yet another one of those useless documents that will save no Sharks but provide for welcome committees (Intersessional Steering Group on Migratory Sharks - wow!), experts and global meetings where scarce resources are squandered on flights, posh hotel rooms and meals, and a never ending deluge of bureaucratic paperwork.

Case in point, Mrs. Maruma Mrema's brazen quote that Although not legally binding, this Memorandum of Understanding actually has a better chance of helping to save the species than a legally binding document … this is because action will happen now when it is most needed: sorry what????

But I'm digressing as always.
Tevita's story got longer and longer, to the point where he tells me that the editors have decided to have it posted in several installments. So there, here is part number one, albeit with one caveat: of course, I'm not at all (only) advocating a Shark finning ban.
What I am advocating is a complete ban of all commercial fishing and trading of Sharks, this at least for as long as it is being conducted at present completely unsustainable levels - but I shall be happy to reverse my stance once Shark stocks have recovered, i.e. in several hundred years! :)

But other than that, great job.
Vinaka Tevita!

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