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54001485 days ago
Together with @hsiaustralia, we are shocked to learn that in the past 55 years, shark populations have declined by up to 92% off the Queensland coast and from within the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef.
The steep decline is driven by commercial shark fishing compounded by fishery mismanagement by successive Queensland and Federal Governments. There has been chronic underreporting of threatened and endangered shark species caught since the Queensland Government abandoned an independent observer program in 2012. Earlier this year, the Federal Government also denied protection of the scalloped hammerhead shark, allowing it to be fished in the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
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Imagine Having a Head Wider Than the Rest of Your Body! 🔨🦈 Photo courtesy of @tomsunderwaterphotography
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The Hammerhead Shark is one of the most recognisable species of shark, perhaps only rivalled by the Great White Shark.
The distinctive skull shape grants them nearly ubiquitous vision in all directions: 360 degrees all around, as well as above and below as well!
This allows them to see the slightest movement of their prey.
Hammerheads are also one of the more feared species, owing to their unique appearance and general Selachophobia (fear of sharks). This is silly, though. In the last 440 years, only 17 attacks on humans by unprovoked Hammerheads have been recorded, and NONE of those resulted in fatalities!
“Be the change you want to see.” - Ghandi.
Shark finning is only the beginning of it. Behind the multiB dollar seafood industry lies not just carcasses of endangered species but also - human trafficking. .
May 2018, Taiwanese fishing / shark finning vessel Fuh Sheng No 11 became world’s first ever detained for severe labor abuse when docked in Cape Town, South Africa. With the courageous work by @ejfoundation and pressure from international media, Taiwan’s Fishery Agency levied penalties (only $120K in fines and 5 months of suspended license) Oct 2019.
The entire seafood industry needs further regulation and this can be a hopeful start. And yet as lucrative yet overexploited (90% fishstock gone) as the ocean is, it takes more than one vessel or one investigation. It starts with us, the consumers. Think twice when you go to a seafood buffet. Ask, where your fish came from.🍴
Reportage from EJF: