Shark Fishing

July 8, 2011 § 1 Comment

(AP Photo/Patricio Realpe) July 5 Puerrto Lopez Ecuador
In 2007 President Rafael Correa overturned the law prohibiting the sale of shark fins and shark meat making it legal for fishermen who “accidently” catch sharks while conducting other fishing activity.  As a result thousands of sharks are killed each year and sold to Hong Kong or other parts of Asia to be used in tasteless soup, jewlery, tourist souveniers and phony powders and capsals.   This week another hammehead was killed off Puerto Lopez and was photographed as it the fishemen cut off is fins for sale.
According to Sea Shepherd there are 100 million sharks killed around the world each year.  90% of the world’s shark population is depleted making it of vital importance to stop these barbaric practices and to change the laws in order to protect these amazing creatures.  In the Galapagos where the animals have evolved in order to survive, sharks are one of the few animals that has never had to evolve because they are perfect just the way they are.  They are at the predators of the sea playing an important role in the balance of marinelife.

smuggling of shark fins from Galapagos

While this law does not apply to Asia the illegal fishing of Sharks and Shark Fins continues in the Galapagos Marine Reserve.  In 2007 Sea Shepherd siezed 19,000 shark fins in Galapagos as part of an undercover opteration. 

According to Jon Bowmaster “Financed by mafias based in mainland Ecuador, fins are taken – hacked off, the useless carcasses tossed overboard – and sent abroad for shark fin soup. Japanese are the biggest culprits though there are restaurants as far away as Norway and Germany, which sell the soup as well. The sad reality is that not only is it a complete waste of the shark but the fins have absolutely no taste, no nutritional value. It’s all about the show. If you can afford shark fin soup – at a business meeting, wedding, anniversary – it means you’ve got the bucks to spend on a frivolity.”

Diving with sharks is the #1 reason divers come to the Galapagos Islands.  The experience of swimming with hammerheads and whale sharks is truly incredible.  Sharks need to be protected. We call upon the President of Ecuador to reconsider this law and work with international organizations to teach the local fisherman fishing techniques which reduce shark morality.

If you would like to get involved and help protect the world’s shark population you can contact Sea Shepherd, Wildaid or other organization dedicated to protecting sharks.  To raise awareness of the need to protect the world’s sharks send a shark trust ecards to your friends


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