Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Keep Fishing Sharks to Support Research?

The world of shark conservation often works at cross purposes as agenda driven groups push for conservation strategies that have unintended consequences.

From direct action protest groups who ultimately embed resistance and cause disparate fishing interests to successfully band together against conservation, to "Shark Messiahs" who push unsustainable messaging about what sharks really are - top order predators.

This week Loblaws' Canada (a grocery chain) announced a ban on the sale of shark meat and a few species of fish declaring them unsustainable.

Clearly a win for the shark conservation folks, but hold on a minute, researchers now claim this ban will damage research efforts as the vessels they use to tag sharks are the fishing vessels that catch sharks for sale at Loblaws' Canada.

If your faith in the shark conservation movement is being shaken at this point, you might not want to read the entire story. The take away from this story is the need for all groups to look beyond just their immediate efforts and push for a holistic approach to conservation.

If you think the chances of that happening anytime soon is as good as Sea Shepherd Conservation Society actually stopping Japans whaling efforts or the Canadian Seal hunt - you would be right.

This blog often points out issues and trends that mature over time, one thought, one idea, and one post at a time.

Sharks and research in Canada.

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