Thursday, August 28, 2008

Shark Tourism The Race for a Species

Shark Diver has been an outspoken advocate for sustainable shark tourism since it's commercial inception back in 2001. It is our contention that shark tourism not only provides incentives for local economies to look at sharks sustainably-but also educates divers and adventure seekers worldwide to the plight of sharks.

At that time (2001) the issue of shark fining was a distant drumbeat in the wilderness. Today it is an outright jungle revolt...but little seems to be getting done in time.

Once again we woke up this morning to another media report in a series of clarion calls from distance shores. Sharks are disappearing and faster then we think:

A North Queensland marine researcher says sharks are on the verge of being wiped out on the Great Barrier Reef. Richard Fitzpatrick says on a recent research trip to reefs off Cairns and Port Douglas, his team struggled to catch any sharks to collect DNA samples.

Mr Fitzpatrick says the decline is the result of over-fishing on the reef.

"We've found sharks inside highly protected areas like the cod hole, dead on the bottom with their tails cut off, so the fishermen have just got upset with the animals, pulled them up and killed them," he said.

"The big unknown with all this stuff is the black market for shark fins and no-one's got a handle on that whatsoever."