Thursday, May 14, 2009

Shark-Free Marinas Initiative: great web site for a great idea

The Shark-Free Marinas Initiative: This was an idea that was hatched some time ago by my colleague, Patric Douglas of SharkDivers, as an incremental approach to dealing with shark mortality in the sportfishing arena. Patric is a never-ending fountain of ideas and this was a particularly good one. But it's also one that requires a lot of attending to, so Patric turned the administrative duties over to marine biologist Luke Tipple.

With the Shark-Free Marinas Initiative, participating marinas would not allow caught sharks to be brought into the marina for photos, weigh-ins, butchering, whatever. Instead, the idea of catch-and-release is promoted, much the same way as it is done in the sport billfish industry.

Check out the web site to get a complete picture as to what the initiative is all about. There's a lot there to peruse. You can learn about the current status on a variety of shark species and see what organizations are lining up to support the concept. Again, it's an incremental approach: get
sportfishermen to first switch to catch-and-release, thereby reducing shark mortality, and then move to the next step of reducing the activity as a whole.

Hopefully, someday the shark tournaments that have been responsible for the deaths of thousands of sharks, all for the sake of a trophy prize, will soon fade into history.

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