Plan for sharks lacks bite

12 Jul 2011 0 Share

Popular dive attraction, Grey Nurse Sharks are on course to becoming exctinct within our lifetime.

Popular dive attraction, Grey Nurse Sharks are on course to becoming exctinct within our lifetime.

They may be an unwelcome presence in the line up, but Australian waters are home to over 300 species of shark. Given many shark species are listed as endangered and their role as top end predators is critical for the health of the oceans, the government is re-assessing the strategy for their protection. However, over 100 million of the ocean predators have been harvested to satisfy the shark finning industry or for fish and chips rolled up in newspaper.

A Grey Reef Shark swims nonchalantly below a surfacing diver.

A Grey Reef Shark swims nonchalantly below a surfacing diver.

In a political manoeuvre the Australian Government recently opened a public comment on the protection of sharks in Australian waters. An updated version of the National Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks remains a weak management strategy and attempting to chart a new course for shark conservation, the Australian authorities need convincing to match the protection standards set by the Bahamas, Maldives, Hawaii, Palau and Guam.

Australia manages one of the largest ocean territories in the world. The way we treat our creatures of the deep has global consequences.

Sign Australian Marine Conservation Society's the petition today and tell the Australian Government the new plan needs some BITE!

Jacki Boyce, campaign and communications officer for the Australian Marine Conservation Society says "Sharks are vital to the health of the oceans and with shark populations collapsing around the world, it's time for Australia to step up to the mark and look after our sharks. Currently, in Australia, hunting sharks for their fins and flesh is taking priority over their protection and this needs to change. The government's Shark Plan lacks action and lacks funding and needs significant improvement if it is to safeguard the future of our sharks."

This opportunity to comment will be open until 5pm July 15. More information on the plan and how to make an individual submission can be found in the 2011 National Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks.

More information
-A recent study by the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the University of Western Australia showed that a single reef shark can contribute almost US$2 million dollars in its lifetime to the tourism industry in Palau.
-Sharks are still legally fished for their fins and flesh in Australia by Australian fisheries, including in the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef.
-Globally, up to 73 million sharks are killed every year, primarily for their fins which are used in shark fin soup, considered a delicacy in Asia.
-According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a third of open ocean sharks are threatened with extinction.

Check out the video below on Grey Nurse Sharks and see what amazing creatures we have the power to save...

Tags: Australia , shark , wildlife , government , campaign (create Alert from these tags)

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