At the San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival a year ago I spoke briefly with the Superintendent of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. I wanted to try to understand the motivation for allowing OCEARCH into a marine sanctuary, but was cut off when I referred to white sharks as endangered. I was corrected that white sharks were listed as “threatened”, not “endangered” and the conversation ended there.
Tonight a shark advocate on the east coast tried to explain to me that shark hunting tournaments aren’t bad because they aren’t responsible for massive drops in shark populations.
In Australia it’s open-season on white sharks, via both hunting and shark nets, despite protests from local beach-goers and warnings from scientists explaining that not only will shark nets not solve the problem, but they will destroy the surrounding ecosystem.
In California shark advocates actually complained about the recent movement to officially move the white shark to the endangered species list because it drew too much attention to the white shark instead of focusing on the plight of other shark species being wiped out from the finning industry.
Why are permits being issued to use experimental research methods on a protected species (whether it’s listed as endangered, threatened, vulnerable, or critical) before the methods have been proven to not only be helpful, but NOT TO BE HARMFUL!?
Let’s cut through the crap; bad is bad. Present as many detailed arguments as you want, but at the end of the day, maimed, damaged, stressed, and killed all equal one thing...BAD. Perhaps we need children making the decisions on which permits to grant. We’ll put two pictures in front of them; one is a dead shark labeled “deny permit” and one is a healthy shark labeled “grant permit”. I bet they’ll know which one means good for the shark and which one means bad for the shark.
Debra Canabal of Epic Diving in the WSV hoodie. Get yours!
About the Author
Skyler Thomas is the primary blog contributor, cinematographer, and lead editor at White Shark Video.