Friday, July 17, 2009
This week Felix Leander, son of Wolf Leander wrote an article for Deeper Blue that begins to answer the question of why some people want to conserve sharks.
Seems "Sympathy for the Devil" began at an early age in the Leander Clan:
In my family I had little choice not to develop a relationship with the Ocean. I was born in the Bahamas, and our back yard was literally a reef. Before I could walk my parents introduced me to the water - you could say even before that - my mom would dive while pregnant (not with tanks), and apparently I "saw" my first shark while in her belly - my dad loves to tell the story of her starting to paddle back to the boat like a crazy woman and that he had to grab her by the fin to slow down and relax.
After leaving the Bahamas, every vacation we took brought us to the Ocean - in those days you had to be 13 years old to be certified by PADI - which forced me to freedive until then. To my father's disappointed and my mother's delight (I became her buddy) I received my Jr. Open Water certification in Bonaire (which I still have to date). My SCUBA days did not last long, and by the time I was 15 I was once again relying on my lungs.
The Federal Fisheries Council (CFP) has established fishing guidelines that aim to drastically reduce waste and discards of short-tailed river stingray (Potamotrygon brachyura) and sharks owing to the delicate state of these species in national waters.
The measures adopted are aligned with the International Action Plan for the Conservation and Management of Sharks (IPOA-Sharks), set forth by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Said Plan details the principles, legal framework, objectives and application procedures for the conservation and management of the resource.
Resolution 13/09 of the CFP, published in the Official Bulletin, prohibits the finning of sharks, a practice that consists of removing the fins - of high market value - and the subsequent discarding of the body.
In addition, it bans the use of bicheros or boat-hooks used in ray discarding manoeuvres, and puts forth the obligation of returning live sharks of more than 160 centimetres in length to sea.