Saturday, January 10, 2009

To stop shark finning in NSW, fisherman need new skills

When I see a headline about the 'dramatic increase in shark finning in NSW' - I am in disbelief. It seems naive to associate this barbaric act to just developing countries because greed can affect anyone in the human race.

This rationale is the only one I can make to put into perspective that fisherman in NSW are simply going about their everyday lives to make money to feed their families. However, the truth is that local fisherman are diversifying into the shark fin market because it is one of the most lucrative areas in the fishing industry to make money.

According to the SMH, 'shark fishers can earn as much as $100 a kilogram' for this prized ingredient. In doing so, local fisherman have been putting earnings before mother nature and threatening endangered species (such as the grey nurse) which live along the NSW coastline.

Despite trying to regulate this illegal practice, the NSW Department of Primary Industries will impose fines of up to $220,000 to 'fishers who are found to have harmed a threatened species' but I would pose the question of - Why they do not consider reinvesting revenue from fines into an education program?

The program would aim to up skill fisherman to make money from other avenues than shark finning or perhaps give them a new set skills to move away from the hardship of the commercial fishing industry. The objective is to allow fisherman to still provide for their families through another means of income which is honest and does not interfere with endangered species which have existed for over 400 million years.

Source: SMH
Image: Australia customs service

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