14 Feb

Shark killing frenzy off Sanur beach

Extinction is NOT an option.

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A week ago, I was leading our Divemaster interns back from a dive off Sanur channel, just as we jumped off the small boat and onto land, we all stopped in mid-sentence –  next to our feet laid 8 lifeless baby sharks. A cruel sight, but this is the sad and unspoken reality in Indonesia. Waters around Nusa Penida are fully exploited, it’s a fisherman’s livelihood,  and it also doesn’t help these apex predators one bit with the media frenzy surrounding shark attacks. Is there anything you and I can do to stop this?

Despite efforts of world leaders, scuba divers and activists, Indonesia still does not have a functioning legislation in place to protect sharks.

Shark meat is surprisingly tasteless and only has low value; Fins are sold for a mere USD 30 per set and end up as shark’s fin soup – which is heavily laden with spices and mercury! Although it isn’t much value to us (and in some ways harmful), It is a decent week’s salary for a local fisherman.

Alarming numbers show that the majority of the landings consist of pregnant Thresher sharks; once thriving in Balinese waters – it is now listed as “vulnerable” by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Divers & ocean enthusiasts can be part of the solution. Our aim is to share with local fisherman alternative solutions and convince them that dive tourism can be much more profitable than the one-time profit of killing a shark.

Did you know?

– A single shark is worth USD 3,300 in tourism value.

– Global whale shark tourism is estimated at USD 47.5 million per year.

The numbers are there, now we need to share them with local fisherman and decision makers who enforce these laws. If you have ideas on how to take better action to protect sharks in Bali, I would love to hear from you. I guess by opening up this discussion I will also have to be prepared for the other end of the stick – Are vote grabbing politicians the real mindless killer here? Or are we just a bunch of shark hugging scuba divers? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Join us in setting this killing frenzy right. Sign the  CITES for sharks petition & demand better protection for  shark & ray species.

Want to do more? Donate today to support Project AWARE and divers world wide in protecting our ocean.

You might also like to read CITES 4 Sharks questions answered

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