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October 2013    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 28, No. 10   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Flotsam & Jetsam

from the October, 2013 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Shark Finning in the Caymans? Scientists conducting the first ever "shark census" there warn that the Caymans' shark populations could be at risk from overfishing, including shark finning. There are far fewer sharks there than expected, based on what is seen elsewhere in the Caribbean and Central America. The researchers, from Marine Conservation International, expected to see at least 11 additional species, and higher numbers of sharks, and also found evidence of shark finning. They estimated that sharks are worth $1.6 million to the Caymans annually in terms of their consumptive value as a "fishery," but their value to tourism and diving was estimated at up to $60 million, so a shark is worth 40 times as much to the Cayman economy alive in the water as it is dead on a boat. There's a draft national conservation bill, which includes protection for sharks, but it has yet to be debated in the Legislative Assembly, despite being on the books for almost a decade. The only current relevant legislation is a ban on feeding sharks....

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