Venezuela bans shark finning


This video is called Caribbean Reef Sharks.

From Wildlife Extra:

Venezuela ends shark finning & creates protected area

Ban on commercial shark fishing in 1440 square miles

June 2012. Venezuela has set forth a series of measures to protect sharks within its waters. Most significantly, commercial shark fishing is now prohibited throughout the 3,730 square kilometres (1,440 square miles) of the Caribbean Sea that make up the popular Los Roques and Las Aves archipelagos, whose pristine beaches and coral reefs make it a diving and fishing attraction.

Important breeding ground and nursery

Scientists have identified Los Roques, located about 128 kilometres (80 miles) off the Venezuelan coast, as an important breeding ground and nursery for populations of several species of sharks, including the lemon shark and the Caribbean reef shark.

“Our research has found that newborn sharks in the mangroves and cays of Los Roques migrate throughout the Caribbean and Atlantic Ocean,” said Rafael Tavares, an expert with Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agrícolas (INIA), Venezuela, who has researched sharks in the region for nearly 20 years. “These new, far-reaching protections would not be possible without the support of the Los Roques community, especially the local fishermen.”

Ban on shark finning

The new regulation also prohibits the practice of shark finning (cutting off the fins and dumping the body overboard at sea) and mandates that all of these animals caught in Venezuelan waters must be brought to port with their fins naturally attached.

“Venezuela’s decision to prohibit shark finning means that it now joins the rest of the countries of South America, North America, and Central America in banning this wasteful practice,” said Jill Hepp, manager of global shark conservation at the Pew Environment Group. “Combined with the breeding ground safe haven in Los Roques and Las Aves, this is the latest step in the growing global movement to save these magnificent animals.”

Sharks are highly susceptible to overfishing because of biological characteristics such as long life, low birth-rate, and few offspring. It is estimated that up to 73 million are killed annually for their fins, primarily due to increased demand for shark fin soup.

Courtesy of The Pew Environment Group.

17 thoughts on “Venezuela bans shark finning

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  3. July 2, 2012 10:56 AM

    Illinois bans shark fin sales to aid global effort

    CHICAGO — With the Shedd Aquarium’s Wild Reef as a backdrop, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law banning the sale, trade or distribution of shark fins.

    Illinois becomes the first inland state to adopt such a ban. Lawmakers who pushed for it have said Chicago’s Chinatown has been a hub for the sale of shark fin in the Midwest.

    Quinn says the ban will aid global efforts to prevent the collapse of shark populations.

    Shark fins are typically used in soup and other Asian cuisine. After harvesting their fins, many sharks are thrown back into the ocean to bleed to death or drown.

    Shedd Aquarium President and CEO Ted Beattie applauded the ban and said millions of sharks are killed each year, many only for their fins.

    Quinn signed the law Sunday.

    © 2012 The Associated Press.

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