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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Overfishing threatens Shark Population

According to a survey releases on June 24th by the Shark Specialist Group at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature,"a third of the world's open-water sharks-including the great white and hammerhead-face extinction.

"Species hunted on the high seas are particularly at risk,with more than half in danger of dying out.The main culprit is overfishing.Sharks are prized for their meat, and in Asia especially for their fins, a prestige food thought to convey health benefits."

For decades, significant numbers of sharks-including blue and mako have perished as a "bycatch" in commercial tuna and swordfish operations.

"More recently, the soaring value of shark meat has prompted some of these fisheries to target sharks as a lucrative sideline",said Sonja Forham, Policy Director for the Shark Alliance and co-author of the study.

The Spanish fleet of so-called surface fishing boats ostensibly targets swordfish, but 70% of its catch, by weight, from 2000 to 2004 was pelagic sharks.

"There are currently no restrictions on the number of sharks these fisheries can harvest,"Fordham stated."Despite mounting threats, sharks remain virtually unprotected on the high-seas."

"Sharks are especially vunerable to overfishing because most species take many years to mature and have relatively few young."

"The demand for shark fins, a traditional Chinese delicacy, has soared along with income levels in China over the last decade.Shark carcasses are often tossed back into the sea by fisherman after the fins are cut off.Despite bans in international waters, this practice-known as "finning"-is largely unregulated, experts say.

Some 100 million sharks are caught in commercial and sports fishing each year, and several species have declined by more than 80% in the past decade alone,according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Source:Edmonton Journal June 25th, 2009

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.