These beautiful pictures of live sharks, and the horrifying pictures of de-finned hammerhead sharks taken for CITES**, are shown in the October 10th Pew News Now Newsletter and were available to copy.
Sharks are caught to provide their fins for food and most are then shoved back in the water, dead.
This is what The Pew Environment Group stated in its press release:-
“Seven species of vulnerable sharks and manta rays have now been submitted by 35 countries for consideration for protection next year under an international treaty concerned with regulating wildlife trade.
Governments met the deadline today and formally submitted their proposals for the meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in March 2013. The recommendations include porbeagle and oceanic whitetip sharks, three species of hammerhead sharks, and two types of manta rays. For nearly 40 years, CITES has shielded thousands of plants and animals from overexploitation through international trade, and the treaty is widely considered one of the best-enforced international conservation agreements.
“We congratulate the governments of Brazil, Comoros, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Ecuador, Egypt, the member States of the European Union, the United States, Mexico, and Honduras for their leadership and commitment to shark conservation, and urge the global community to join their call to finally provide critical international trade protection for these vulnerable shark species,” said Susan Lieberman, director of international policy for the Pew Environment Group.
The 176 members of CITES will analyze these proposals before a final vote in Bangkok in March 2013.
“Countries cannot continue to watch as these sharks and rays are driven to the brink of extinction; measures need to be put in place now to regulate international trade in these species,” said Elizabeth Wilson, manager of shark conservation at the Pew Environment Group. “This is not just about sharks; it’s about keeping the world’s oceans healthy. CITES has the chance in Bangkok to help save these species.”
And in its campaign introduction . . .
“Global Shark Conservation
Sharks have roamed our oceans since before the time of dinosaurs, but their long reign at the top of the ocean food chain may be ending.
The onset of industrial fishing over the past 60 years has drastically depleted their populations. Of the shark and ray species assessed by scientists for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), 30 percent are threatened or near-threatened with extinction.
Shark finning–the practice of catching a shark, slicing off its fins and then discarding the body at sea–takes a tremendous toll on shark populations. Up to 73 million sharks are killed every year to primarily support the global shark fin industry, valued for the Asian delicacy shark fin soup.
In general, sharks grow slowly, mature late and produce few young over long lifetimes, leaving them exceptionally vulnerable to overexploitation and slow to recover from depletion. As key predators, their depletion also has risks for the health of entire ocean ecosystems. For example, tiger sharks have been linked to the quality of seagrass beds through their prey, dugongs and green sea turtles, which forage in these beds. Without tiger sharks to control their prey’s foraging, an important habitat is lost
The Pew Environment Group has identified the present moment as a critical time to reverse the global decline of shark populations. We will work internationally with our coalition allies to influence the fishing nations and treaty organizations that regulate high seas fisheries. In addition, we will work with nations whose waters still have diverse populations of sharks to declare shark sanctuaries and to advocate for international shark conservation”.
Ruth’s comment: You might say that in Britain, we behave similarly . . .
We are told that one-third of the food produced for us is never eaten, but thrown away and wasted. That wasted food is likely to include marine organisms as well as meats of farm animals.
*‘Pew News Now’ is the Email Newsletter of the Pew Charitable Trusts
**CITES is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species