Thursday, September 22, 2011

What Are Your $harks Worth? - Op Ed

The Paxton Brothers. Probably two of the most unique conservation/personalities you might ever want to meet in Florida and hip deep in real world shark conservation issues and solutions.

The Paxtons look at shark conservation from many different angles both as sustainable anglers, water users, and conservationists.

As the driving force behind the Guy Harvey Catch and Release Shark Fishing Tournaments they have distinguished themselves as out-of-the-box thinkers movers and shakers.

This month they are delving into the FWC and proposed rules and regulations that would ban the take of Tigers and Hammerheads in Florida waters.

Click on the image to read the article as many of the points Sean Paxton brings up resonates to the idea of sustainable fisheries vs no take, an anathema to hard core shark conservationists whose monolithic "no take under any circumstances" often puts them in direct conflict with other use groups.

We can embrace some sustainable fisheries for sharks like we embraced catch and release, all it takes is some science, some broader perspective, and a large amount of long term vision.

As Florida came to understand back in 2001 with complete bans on commercial shark diving, once laws are set in place the unintended consequences of conservation laws for sharks resonate elsewhere for years to come.

Food for thought.