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COVER: Mike Ellis, Lemon Sharks, White Sand Ridge, Bahamas
A response from Julie Anderson regarding the Western Australian proposal to destroy sharks that are found swimming too close to beaches:
It is hard to believe with all we know about sharks, including their dwindling numbers, their critical role in our oceans, and the small risk they actually pose to humans in the grand scheme of things, that the archaic concept of killing these animals solely or our “protection” still exists. And that a country like Australia, whose citizens are known for their enlightened, balanced view of nature. would declare war on sharks – giving the approval to kill any sharks swim near beaches in Western Australia. Even the protected and endangered white shark. All this in a medieval response to five deaths due to shark bites in the past year. At a cost of far more than the $6.35 million that the Australian government is investing in the program. It is absolutely shameful.
Shark Angels partnered with Sea Shepherd Shepherd Conservation Society this summer in a innovative campaign to protect sharks. This summer marked their first mission in the South Pacific together to defend sharks and other animals in the sea. We visited five nations – Tonga, Vanuatu, Fiji, Solomon Islands and Kiribati and achieved results far beyond our hopes. Thanks to our partnership, we combined awareness/education with enforcement – educating kids about the need to protect the oceans and sharks throughout the nations, rallying support for shark sanctuaries, building collaborative relationships with governments, and patrolling the waters of one of the South Pacific’s largest marine reserves.
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Sharks kill fewer than 4 humans on average each year, while humans kill an estimated 100 million sharks annually.
Sharks have been honed to perfection, having existed on this planet for over 400 million years.
Sharks play a vital role at the top of the food chain by maintaining balance in the oceans.
* An estimated 73 million sharks are killed each year (that works out to more than 10,000 sharks per hour).
Shark fins are tasteless, and may contain high levels of toxic methyl-mercury.
Only a small number of countries have banned finning - many more need to be encouraged to enact legislation.
Many people assume that because they don’t eat shark fin soup – then they can’t possibly be contributing to the demise of the sharks and rays.
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