Friday, November 30, 2012

Fins to the left, fins to the right…

Sharks protected in American Samoa.

America Samoa, the last U.S Territory in the pacific to implement shark protection now has the strongest policies. Shark fishing is now banned; along with the sale, possession and distribution of fins and shark parts. Reported by Wildlife Extra, "Sharks have been an important part of our ocean, reef and cultural environments," said Gov. Togiola T.A. Tulafono. "Their disappearance would be devastating to the environment and our Samoan culture. An ocean without sharks is completely inconceivable to me. Sharks have supported the health of our ocean, our fisheries and our economy, and should remain that way for generations to come. American Samoa is committed to playing a serious role in ensuring that these wonderful animals survive for our future."

 These  actions, along with the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam banning the practice in 2011 and Hawaii in 2010; has now cut off the flow of shark fins in the U.S. Pacific Islands, helping them remain an apex predator in the world’s oceans (WE, 2012). Only 4% of American Samoa’s reef shark population remains. Over 73 million sharks are killed yearly for their fins.

To find out why sharks are important and learn more about shark finning; see the resources listed below.

Suggested reading on shark finning:

US to halt shark finning
Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 42, Issue 9, September 2001, Page 705

Jaws of life: developing international shark finning regulations through lessons learned from the International Whaling Commission
Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems. 20.2 (Summer 2011): p511

Social, economic, and regulatory drivers of the shark fin trade.(Perspectives)(Report)
Marine Resource Economics 22.3 (Sept 2007): p305(23).

Web resources:


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