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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Shark advocate interviewed by media:Sonja Fordham




Sonja Fordham, who worked for the Ocean Conservancy and the Shark Alliance before founding her own group, Shark Advocates International, has recently been interviewed regarding the state of shark populations in our oceans. The following is part of the interview which she was involved in with Yale Environment 360 (website at: http://e360.yale.edu/), which is publication of  the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

"Yale Environment 360: I’ve been reading about these absolutely phenomenal numbers of sharks — in the tens of millions — that are killed every year. What is the latest, best scientific estimate?

Sonja Fordham: The best science-based figure is 26 to 73 million sharks.

e360: Per year?

Fordham: Per year. That doesn’t mean that all those sharks were finned, because a lot of shark meat is actually increasingly being used.

e360: What demand is driving this trade? How much of it is growth in China and Asia and the demand for shark fin soup?

Fordham: Shark fin soup is a traditional celebratory dish, a Chinese delicacy. It used to be reserved for royalty and very high levels of society. There obviously has been a boom in the Chinese economy, where more and more people can afford to serve it at their banquets or weddings. It’s a very traditional dish, and these kind of attitudes are not changing overnight. But they are changing. There are a lot of groups working in that region in Asia, trying to educate the public and getting celebrities to pledge to not serve shark fin soup.

Most shark species are particularly vulnerable to overfishing. They tend to There are a lot of people who still remember ‘Jaws’ and are afraid of sharks.”
grow slowly and mature late, and have few young. And we know of many There are a lot of people who still remember ‘Jaws’ and are afraid of sharks.”
cases of serious shark depletion around the world. As you’ve probably read, a good proportion of sharks and rays around the world are deemed threatened by IUCN’s [International Union for the Conservation of Nature] Shark Specialist Group. So we know that there are very few well-managed shark fisheries in the world, and that these species in general are prone to overfishing and need to be managed even more cautiously than we would do with other marine fish."

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There is no way that the shark species is going to be around for very long if sharks continue to be overfished especially by Asian Nations!

From the article:

"e360: What is the Chinese government doing about the shark trade? Certainly the fin trade seems to be centered there. Is the Chinese government taking any action?"

"Fordham: Not that I know of. China has in the last few years become much more vocal at international fishery and trade meetings, and it’s mostly in opposition to shark conservation. They were the leading opponents of proposals to list these eight shark species under CITES this year. They weren’t as vocal about their positions before, but certainly now they’re getting more and more vocal."

"e360: In any anti-conservation way?"

"Fordham: Yes, more vocal and strident."

"e360: Has the rise of the shark fin trade, and the concomitant increase in the killing of sharks, tracked China’s economic rise?"

"Fordham: Yes, we saw a real rise starting in the 1980s. But we have many more conservation groups just in the last few years, trying to convince Around the world, too many sharks are being killed, whether it’s for their fins or meat, or both.”

e360: What is the Chinese government doing about the shark trade? Certainly the fin trade seems to be centered there. Is the Chinese government taking any action?

Fordham: Not that I know of. China has in the last few years become much more vocal at international fishery and trade meetings, and it’s mostly in opposition to shark conservation. They were the leading opponents of proposals to list these eight shark species under CITES this year. They weren’t as vocal about their positions before, but certainly now they’re getting more and more vocal.

e360: In any anti-conservation way?

Fordham: Yes, more vocal and strident.

e360: Has the rise of the shark fin trade, and the concomitant increase in the killing of sharks, tracked China’s economic rise?

Fordham: Yes, we saw a real rise starting in the 1980s. But we have many more conservation groups just in the last few years, trying to convince Around the world, too many sharks are being killed, whether it’s for their fins or meat, or both.”


I’d like to add something on the issue of finning, because it does get the most attention, that it’s really important to know that even if we had perfect finning bans all over the world, that alone would not save sharks. We also need concrete limits on shark catches. Around the world, too many sharks are being killed, whether it’s for their fins or meat, or both, or by accident."


You can read the entire interview by going to the following website:

http://e360.yale.edu/feature/as_shark_slaughter_continues_a_defender_targets_fin_trade/2340/

Please visit Sonia Fordham's shark initiative website at: http://www.sharkadvocates.org/ 

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If China and its Asian neighbor countries, as well as other nations of the World want to over-fish sharks why wouldn't they also over-fish other species of fish and sea life which all humans have a right to access? Why wouldn't they also engage in other selfish actions (such as  over-consuming the World's fresh water supply to satisfy their selfish needs?)

 By acting as they are, the Chinese people  and their allies are being selfish and irresponsible, and it is time that definite economic,political and social measures are drawn up against the Chinese and their allies,  by nations interested in conserving shark and fish species on our planet!  We can all send a message to the Chinese and their allies by ending our consumption of their goods and services. Only if we send such a message to them will they possibly  consider the consequences of their actions on all peoples on our planet!

Source of image:http://www.thedorsalfin.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/millions-of-sharks-killed.jpg 

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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.