Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Goblin girl on... something that made her sick!

I work for the government, at the Swedish Board of Fisheries. That means that I usually have to defend the fishermen and the fishing industry, but I also have certain freedom to work for the better of the environment - which sometimes means going against the fishing interest. I know that many of my "shark hugging" friends have problems with even seeing a dead shark, but I still believe that a sustainable fishery is ok. The problem is that very few - if any - fisheries on sharks are sustainable.

When I did my masters thesis on spiny dogfish at the university I even had to kill the sharks myself! It was a tough journey to make from when I was six, nearly crying my eyes out when my guppies died, not daring to even touch them if they jumped out of the aquarium, to bludgeoning my beloved sharks to death and then gut them. But you learned to do it and it was a comfort for me that the bodies went to consumption. And they had gone the same way even if I hadn't done my study.

So what makes me sick? Well, you saw earlier this week that the fate of the mantas made me really sad. Is it something that really makes me sick, it's pure waste! If you have the stomach for it, watch the video below. Then remember that this happens to a 100 million sharks every year. And still many of those sharks are taken care of in different ways. Sometimes only the fins - which is a great waste! -, sometimes the whole body. This basking shark got caught in a trawl off Iceland and the fishermen just wants to get rid of it. They mutilate it, but doesn't kill it. Such a big animal can take a month to die, lying on the sea floor, starving to death. That makes me SICK!


Sarah from VI said...

Hi GG,

Thanks for the video. Pretty sure that animal was very dead in the video, but highlights a huge bycatch issue.

Charlott - the Goblin girl said...

Well, it might have been dead in the end, but you can see when it's helplessly flopping it's dorsal fin, trying to thrash itself free with its non existing tail.