Tuesday, September 30, 2008

White Shark in the Marketplace: Mexico drops the ball

Here is a prime example of dropping the ball - or maybe it's a case of turning a blind eye. The above picture was taken at an Ensenada fish market in Baja, Mexico. What you see is juvenile white shark being marketed as marlin or swordfish. Local Mexican fishermen having been illegally catching juvenile white sharks along the Baja coast - disastrous not only because of the loss of the shark but its reproductive potential is also lost for good.

So why "dropping the ball"? Because just a few minutes away from this market are the offices of the governmental agency that oversees the environmental Biosphere program, not to mention other marine-related academic organizations - and not to mention local law enforcement agencies.

Some of the fish markets are now removing the tell-tale shark skin to help further disguise their illegal catch. According to SharkDiver, this has been going on for some time without any government intervention or enforcement. When governments pay lip service by instituting regulations without the required support and enforcement, the sharks lose . . . and we lose.

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