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October 2010    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 25, No. 10   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Bahamas Sharks Threatened by Seafood Exporter’s Expansion

from the October, 2010 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

An abundance of sharks in the Bahamas draws divers, but while sharks draw tourism dollars for the island nation, they’re not protected from shark fin-seeking fishermen. Therefore, they may be targeted for soup bowls over in China. According to Bahamian newspaper The Tribune, the export company Sunco Wholesale Seafood Ltd., which currently harvests sea cucumbers for the Chinese market, is considering expanding its operations on North Andros Island to include shark finning and harvesting of sea urchins. The Bahamas doesn’t have any regulations in place to control the harvesting. Long-line fishing was banned 20 years ago but sharks are still unprotected because they’ve never been commercially fished in Bahamian waters.

The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) and the Pew Environment Group are launching a campaign to get sharkprotection legislation in place. They’ve written to Larry Cartwright, Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources. As a former fisherman, Cartwright agreed the country’s sharks should be protected. But as he told the Tribune, “I wouldn’t say shark finning is not going to happen here because what’s happening elsewhere. I am sure it will come this way eventually, and when the time comes, we will look into legislation.”

How can divers stop shark finning? BNT director Lynn Gape says a good first step is to sign the petition the BNT is co-sponsoring. The goal is to get 15,000 signatures so the petition can be sent to Cartwright and Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham. Sign it at: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/549/487/335/.

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