Federal fisheries address shark butchery

shark_fin.jpgSurfrider Foundation’s online newsletter Soup is reporting new rules from the National Marine Fisheries Service that federal shark fisheries in the Atlantic ocean and Gulf of Mexico will need to bring shark fins in to port with the carcass of the animal attached. Environmental News Service details the story here.

It’s a grim ruling, but should help to curb the practice of cutting fins from living sharks and then returning the animals directly to sea. Hopefully, the increased load to fishing vessels will reduce profitability. Any ocean lover who has seen video of the bleeding and sinking victims of “the refined palate” for shark fin soup would be enraged by the butchery of these animals.

In their newsletter, Surfrider is advertising a film called Sharkwater that addresses the shark fin fishery directly through one man’s journey of confrontation and discovery. The trailer is terrific. Check it out.

Peter Etnoyer (406 Posts)

PhD candidate at Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi and doctoral fellow Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies.





5 comments on “Federal fisheries address shark butchery
  1. If you love your Ocean, join your local Surfrider Chapter (or if you are not on the coast, join the national chapter), they are a great environmental group trying to help save our oceans from pollution, over fishing and development. It’s an inexpensive way to show you care, and even if you don’t want to join you can still volunteer with a local chapter (although normally when you join you get a cool t-shirt and sticker!)

  2. This is great news! I hope that someday sharkfin soup will be regarded with the same disgust as ‘sweet and sour panda’, but until that day.
    On a side note, i really enjoyed Sharkwater- great informational movie with some amazing cinematography and should be seen for that alone, however, i found the suspense levels a bit too inflated and hokey.

  3. surfrider? GREAT GROUP!
    stronger regulations to curtail finning? IMPORTANT AND LONG OVERDUE!

    but
    wtf is up with all the shark touching and hugging and etc. in the film?
    i realize he’s trying to “tame” the image of the “killing machine,” but there’s no need to encourage that sort of behavior… it just reinforces the whole “nature as dominion” mentality…

  4. I think the film was geared to the “average” moviegoer who only sees images of theatrical sharks chowing down on hapless swimmers, and disovery channel shark week shots of gaping jaws and thrashing.

    The slight drama and the handling, I think were meant to shock the viewer, because at some point that’s about the only thing that sinks in, and then show them that not every shark is out to gnaw off your appendages mindlessly.

    Dramatic licence. For all its flaws, still good. I know I heard lots of people leaving the theatre going “I had no idea that’s what finning was.” It unsettled them. I’ll take a few over the top moments in the movie for that alone.

  5. The practice of live finning has been banned by the United States for years, not that it was practiced much by domestic fishermen anyway — as is often the case, most of the well-intentioned environmental outrage should instead be directed at the international fleets, such as Taiwan and P.R. China, not the well-regulated and monitored U.S. ones. Still, it’s good to have this formally on the books, so to speak, when we go make appeals to the rest of the international community to do the same.

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