Sunday, March 21, 2010

CITES and Doha - Reconsidering the effort

While the conservation world bemoans the stunning losses at Doha, both for sharks and tuna, it is high time to reconsider what exactly are the goals for conservation and are we even coming in with the right strategies for a new decade of hyper inflated species loss?

The failures of Doha all lead back to one source and one source only. Too many people on the planet, too much commercial pressure on a few species.

All the eco efforts in the world amount to a street sweeper at the end of an elephant parade and unfortunately, humanity is the elephant.

We're rapidly getting to the point where regional conservation efforts like the ones being rolled out in Fiji with commercial shark diving operations at Beqa will be the accepted model for conservation worldwide.

It is the ONLY way to go. Take control of your own piece of the planet by monetizing species sustainably and shepherd those species through the increasing eco pressures of the region.

That's it.

Unless we can show tuna interests how to make $70,000 per fish on something else the future of these critters is bleak to say the least. The more tuna stocks we lose, the higher the price goes for individual animals.

That's basic economics.

Unless the shark fin industry is shown a way to make money that does not rely on 2001 gold price standards for dried sharks fin we're just hoping for the best.

Sadly we're about 15 years behind where we should be in terms of strategy and implementation for this "new decade of species loss."

Frustration? You bet.

Throwing in the towel? No, not yet.

But let's not bemoan the losses at Doha like it was any kind of surprise. Doha was the end of an era and an eye opener for those who thought that 1970's eco strategy could net us any gains with international consensus on critically commercialized species. Since the 1970's we have added one billion more mouths to feed, a billion more commercial interests, and a billion more reasons why commercialized species will be hunted to the point of extinction and beyond.

New thinking, new strategy, and regional efforts might, if applied in time, slow the losses to effect conservation change.

The question now on the table, do we have any leadership to make these changes in time?

Patric Douglas CEO


DaShark said...

I would have to (obviously) agree with the need to operate locally and to take on the stewardship of the resources we draw our sustenance from.

But despite of the dire international situation, I believe that the global fight is far from being lost.

Take the Northern Bluefin:
The USA and Europe (the latter reluctantly) are pro - Canada and the North African states want to continue killing them.

How about if the US and Europe followed up on their word and implemented a local fishing ban in their EEZs.
That would be a pretty big sanctuary for the stocks to shelter and hopefully, to recover. Yes I know the fish migrate but still, it would be a huge step in the right direction - no?

Yup scumbags like Malta would be furious - but they would have to abide by the decision of the majority, and Japan and their cronies would have no vote on it whatsoever.

Just a wild thought mind you.

Nathan Ciurzynski said...

I too am a little frustrated with how large a task shark conservation is. Even though this one thing set it back a little ways, I think overall, shark conservation is getting better PR recently. I've been to Beqa and loved it. We definitely need more Beqas.

Ali said...

I love this post, very well said. Shark conservation needs to operate locally clearly. I look forward to reading more of this blog!