Guy Harvey Magazine

WIN 2012

Guy Harvey Magazine is focused on fishing, boating, scuba diving, and marine conservation. Portfolios from the world's best fishing photographers, articles on gear, travel, tournaments, apparel, lifestyle, seafood recipes, sustainable fisheries.

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Page 53 of 83

WELDING THE CHAIN Shark Finning Update: A multi-nation assault on finning and longlining gives sharks a boost. BY CAPT. JOHN McMURRAY Campaign efforts led by marine conservation groups and scientists, and supported by a large constituency of stakeholders including anglers, divers, and even surfers, have helped convince officials in a growing number of governments of the wisdom in protecting healthy shark populations. Vast shark sanctuaries are springing up around the globe. Meanwhile, as the barbaric practice of shark finning is exposed, and awareness and mass revulsion amplify public outcry, governments are also banning the practice of hacking off a shark's fins and tossing the mortally wounded fish overboard to die of blood loss and suffocation—all for an Asian soup delicacy. This is good news, because of the shark species assessed by scientists for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), 30 percent are threatened with extinction. Sharks grow slowly, maturate late, and produce few offspring. These traits make them exceptionally vulnerable to overfishing and they are very slow to recover from a decline. Research has consistently shown that shark species are critical to marine ecosystems. Yet, they remain the world's most hunted apex predators. Thanks to the efforts of a few conservation groups, the tide appears to be changing. Sharks are beginning to receive long needed protections that should benefit not only declining shark populations, but also the ocean ecosystems they help keep in balance and the economies they support. The following synopses of recent shark conservation victories reflect major advances in the worldwide battle to protect sharks. The movement is growing, but sharks are swimming against a tide of decades of slaughter, mounting enforcement issues, and increasing demand as the Asian middle class grows. The clock is ticking for shark species everywhere and there are ways for you to help, such as telling your government officials to protect sharks, and joining groups such as Shark Savers ( and Shark Defenders ( You can also support critical shark research initiatives by supporting the Guy Harvey Research Institute ( and the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation. The Bahamas In July of last year, the Agriculture and Fisheries minister for The Bahamas signed a law to ban all commercial shark fishing in the archipelago nation's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), a 243,244-square-mile area. The law also prohibits the import and export of any shark products. It was the result of a successful year-long campaign involving collaboration between the Pew Environment Group (PEG) and the Bahamas National Trust (BNT), which produced public service announcements, a petition signed by more than 5,000 Bahamians, and coordinated outreach trips by Pierre-Yves Cousteau (son of

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