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Thread: Stop Killing Sharks for Fins

  1. #1
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    Default Stop Killing Sharks for Fins

    Cruelty towards sharks

    Sharks are caught and their fins cut off and they are then thrown back to the oceans. This brutal practice is to supply shark fins for the popular Shark fin soup in restaurants worldwide. Now Indian fishermen have raised their voice against it. You too can raise your voice.

    Indian fishermen oppose the cruel practice of shark 'finning'
    Vijay Singh, TNN May 9, 2013, 08.04PM IST

    MUMBAI: The Association of Deep Sea Going Artisanal Fishermen (DSGAF) has urged the union ministry of environment and forests to take action against the cruel practice of 'shark finning' done by poachers and foreign trawlers. Supporting the policy of 'fins naturally attached' of Humane Society International (HSI), the fishermen will campaign against this cruelty to sharks.

    Shark finning is basically the hunting of sharks only to cut off their fins, which are said to be used in the popular and exotic shark fin soup in the international markets.

    The removal of fins from live sharks and subsequent disposal of the animals back into the ocean. is highly painful for the marine creatures which eventually died. The practice is linked to the decimation of large numbers of shark populations worldwide because of demand for shark-fin soup in international m arkets across Asia, Europe and the United States. This demand has caused unregulated increases in the numbers of sharks being fished and pressure on shark populations in the Indian seas.

    Fins naturally attached policies stipulate that fishermen cannot land a shark without its fins intact on the body and cannot possess, transfer or land shark fins that are not naturally attached to the corresponding carcass.

    NG Jayasimha, managing director of HSI/India, said: "We are pleased to find common ground and forge solutions with diverse groups such as the Association of Deep Sea Going Artisanal Fishermen. The collaboration with this fishing community is a foundation for mutual understanding that will lead to better animal welfare and shark conservation in India. We urge the government to adopt a fins naturally attached policy."

    Shark fishermen in India traditionally make use of all the parts of a shark, including meat, skin, teeth and fins. ADSGAF was formed in 1992 for shark fishermen of Thoothoor in Kanyakumari district. ADSGAF fishermen support the fins naturally attached policy to conserve sharks as a fishery resource and for food security. The group also believes the policy will help safeguard shark species against commercial exploitation.

    Dr Y S Yadava, advisor to ADSGAF, said: "Shark finning in India waters is believed to be the work of fishing from foreign vessels and poachers. If the government adopts a fins naturally attached policy, it will help to provide better regulation of fishing in India's waters and bring about an end to illegal poaching."

    Facts about shark finning:

    Tens of millions of sharks are killed each year simply to supply the wasteful demand for shark-fin soup. Shark populations cannot sustain current slaughter rates.

    Sharks are apex predators whose survival affects all other marine species and our oceans' ecosystems.

    Unlike other fish species, sharks produce few pups, and thus, many species are endangered and/or threatened due to the fin trade.

    The European Union, the United States and many countries within Latin America have adopted fins naturally attached policies.

    Conservation and shark experts worldwide agree that the fins naturally attached policy is one of the most effective ways to prevent shark finning.

    India is the second-largest shark catching country, and one of the largest exporters of shark fins in the world.
    Mrudul Godbole

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    Sharks are the apex predators in our oceans. The population of the apex predator is always lesser than the next line of predators and much lesser than the small fishes. When you cut off the fins, the sharks sink to the bottom of the sea and die.

    If we remove the apex predator, you create severe imbalances in the ecosystem. It is unfortunate that we are not bothered about preserving our marine ecosystem. Only when the fisherfolk raise their voice, we start noticing. However the fishermen are like hunters who notice their prey has gone. By the time the fishermen notice, it is often too late to save the species. And hunters are not often the right people to notice because their focus would be on some other species. For example, earlier hunters were focused on tiger hunting and the cheetah became extinct from India. So the Government has to take a active role in preservation of our marine ecosystem.

    I have seen shark fin soup served during my trips abroad. Personally I have stopped serving of shark fin soup to our team. I am sure more people can do that provided awareness is raised.

    In India, we can definitely prevent it under the Prevention of cruelty to animals act and the WPA. Our members and readers can raise their voice by writing to the Hon'ble Minister for Environment and Forests Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan.

    Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan

    Hon’ble Minister of State (Independent Charge)

    Ministry of Environment and Forests

    Paryavaran Bhawan, CGO Complex,

    Lodhi Road, New Delhi – 110003

    Email: mosefgoi@nic.in

    Tel: +91-11-24361727

    Fax: +91-11-24362222

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