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Guy Harvey Calls For Bahamas Shark Fishing Ban 'Before It Is Too Late'

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NASSAU, The Bahamas ­ -- Dr. Guy Harvey, world-renowned scientist and marine wildlife artist, has joined the growing ranks of individuals and organizations calling for strict regulations to ban the commercial fishing of all sharks in The Bahamas. In support of the program, Dr.Harvey is releasing a custom-designed "Protect Bahamian Sharks" campaign logo and poster this week while visiting Nassau to meet with government officials.

"These magnificent animals have been admired for years by divers visiting The Bahamas and revered by people around the world as one of the great wonders of the ocean," said Dr. Harvey. "However, many species of sharks are now being driven to the brink of extinction by over-exploitation, fueled mostly by the Far East's demand for shark fin soup."

"Due to a ban on longline fishing gear in the 1990s led by The Bahamas National Trust, Bahamian waters are one of the few places in the world with relatively healthy shark populations," said Eric Carey, Executive Director of The Bahamas National Trust. "The Bahamas is now one of the premier shark-watching destinations for divers, reeling in US$800 million over the past 20 years for the national economy, according to the Bahamas Diving Association."

Even with the ban on longlining gear, sharks are still considered at-risk in Bahamian waters due to other methods of fishing. "There are currently no specific laws in The Bahamas protecting these amazing creatures," said Matt Rand, director of global shark conservation for the Pew Environment Group. "We are working with The Bahamas National Trust to raise awareness to establish measures that will conserve healthy shark populations before it is too late."

Scientists with the International Union for Conservation of Nature have estimated that 30 percent of shark and ray species around the world are threatened or near-threatened with extinction. The loss of these animals could cause irreversible damage to the ocean's ecosystem and result in the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in the tourist trade.

Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of, its staff or its advertisers.

Reader Comments

6 people have commented so far. cloud add your comment

Hello. I am working as a volunteer in BBFS. Here in the station we are all fighting for keeping the populations of sharks healthy in the Bahamas ecosistems.
   comment# 1   - Jose Felipe Roa · Bimini, Bahamas · Mar 2, 2011 @ 3:18pm

It will be devastating for the bahamian waters if they continue to fish and kill the shark population. they are critical to keep the ecosystem of the ocean/waters balanced. We should be very proud of of the Bahamian waters and her wildlife - it is something we must protect. Amanda Evans
   comment# 2   - amanda Burnett-Evans · nassau bahamas · Mar 3, 2011 @ 6:16am

Totally agree that we need to stop any shark fishing NOW, before it's too late! There will be no turning back!
   comment# 3   - patricia leigh-wood · nassau, bahamas · Mar 3, 2011 @ 6:46am

Please do NOT allow the killing of sharks in The Bahamas. What a travesty.
   comment# 4   - Claire Evans · Nassau Bahamas · Mar 3, 2011 @ 8:16am

We covered the death of two giant Tigers back in 2008, one of them was a pregnant female with full term pups ripped out. WARNING the images in this post are graphic:
   comment# 5   - Patric Douglas · San Anselmo, California · Mar 4, 2011 @ 8:14am

El exceso de mercurio en la carne de tiburón puede provocar complicaciones neurológicas, discapacidad sensorial, esterilidad masculina, y pérdida de coordinación. Para el mundo marino la pérdida es irreversible
   comment# 6   - lorena cofiño · guatemala · Mar 6, 2011 @ 6:30am
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