Tuesday, August 19, 2008
The main question on the table...is it sustainable?
They say on a conservative estimate that is the equivalent of 10,000 adult sharks.
The WWF is using the figures to add weight to its call for the Queensland Government to ditch a proposal to issue specific licences to target sharks.
The Federal Government says a final decision is yet to be made but it will take a precautionary approach.
WWF's Dr Gilly Llewellyn says the appetite for shark fin overseas which Australia appears to be feeding, is insatiable, and in the past 13 months 230 tonnes of shark fin have been exported from our shores, mainly to Asian markets.
"Using a really conservative estimate using the largest possible size of shark, using a low fin to weight ratio, that's still 10,000 sharks that would have needed to be killed for that amount of fin," she says.
Dr Llewellyn says there is no scientific evidence to show whether that amount of shark fishing is sustainable.
For 16 lucky Shark Divers, one very excited dive crew, and Greg Grivetto owner operator of the MV Horizon this day could not have been any better:
Another amazing season here at the Island. We arrived to quickly discover we're the only vessel out here this week. Things started almost immediately, with the divers in the galley doing a dive briefing we counted three whites cruising around at 30 feet.
We'll try and surmise the day since it was filled with sharks. You'll be happy to know both Shredder now closer to 15' and Bruce who's just huge are both back on site again this year. We also saw a small y.o.y about 4 feet long. That guy didn't stay around for very long.
The animals are very curious slowly coming in for a look and swinging by a few more times on their way to other places in the area. For the shark divers this is what they have waited in some cases two years for!
We saw two full breaches today with sharks jumping completely out of the water and I cannot say we had a single shark rotation without animals. The divers are currently in the galley swapping images, drinking beer, and telling tall tales...you know the usual.
Tomorrow is another shark day, and we'll update you again, have a great night!
This project has been an exciting adventure for us and for Maurico-simply put this was the first time any cross border shark eco tour/research effort has ever been attempted in Mexico.
It has been the standing policy of Shark Diver to include shark research with operations wherever we could. 8 years ago this policy was considered by many within the community to be a lost leader, or at worst a complete waste of time.
Time, it seems, was all it took to show proof of concept. In the end we are obligated as eco tour operations to know more about the animals we make a living from. Research knowledge is key- with that comes our credibility.
As commercial shark diving operators we do not have "any rights" to make a living from white sharks. It's a gift, and payback comes in the form of adding to the understanding of these animals. You have to support the resource with realistic and yearly efforts. Otherwise these animals become little more than Biological ATM Machines.
If you're interested in providing material support for Maurico's 2008 field season contact him directly at:
Mauricio Hoyos <firstname.lastname@example.org