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September 20, 2010

Ban Shark Fining in the Bahamas

While it seems unthinkable, commercial shark fining in the Bahamas may soon be legal. SUNCO Wholesale Seafood Ltd. is exploring the export of shark fins caught in the Bahamas. Despite contributing to the Bahamas' growing eco-tourism sector, sharks are unprotected because they've never been commercially fished in the country. "Tourism as an industry not only accounts for over 60 percent of the Bahamian GDP, but provides jobs for more than half the country's workforce," according to Encyclopedia of the Nations.

In response, dive master Cristina Zenato, conservationist Pedro Baranda and local and international environmental groups have teamed up to draft legislation that bans fining in the Bahamas. They've even launched an online petition asking the Prime Minister, Minister of Tourism and Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources to ban fining.

According to the petition, which has garnered more than 6,000 signatures, "Every year, up to 73 million sharks are slaughtered for their fins, meat, cartilage, liver and skin. And 30 percent of shark species are threatened or near threatened with extinction."

Joe Romeiro has also lent his support. Last week, the filmmaker posted the below short film, called "Nina Salerosa," on YouTube to illustrate the gentler side of Caribbean reef sharks.

To sign the online petition, click here.

Posted by jroualdes at September 20, 2010 11:09 PM