Today, the Shark-Marina, a not-for-profit company launches its strategy to prevent the deaths of millions of vulnerable and endangered species of shark. The initiative aims to win over the fishing community by working with game fishing societies, tackle manufacturers, competition sponsors and marinas to form community conscious policy.
In the last five years over half a million sharks on average were killed by the recreational and sport fishing community in the United States alone. Many of these were breeding age specimens and belong to vulnerable or endangered species.
The Shark-Free Marina Initiative works by prohibiting the landing of any caught shark at a participating marina. By promoting catch-and-release fishing the sport of shark fishing can actively participate in ongoing research studies and collect valuable data. The initiative is based on the Atlantic billfish model which banned the mortal take of billfish in response to population crashes in the 80’s.
“Although the number of sharks killed by recreational fishermen each year is dwarfed by commercial catches, the current crisis facing shark stocks requires action wherever possible.” says marine scientist and SFMI Advisor Edd Brooks “We are not asking fishermen to stop fishing, only asking them to start releasing their catch.”
By collaborating with the Cape Eleuthera Institute in the Bahamas and the Fisheries Conservation Foundation in the USA, Shark-Free Marinas have already had an impact.
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