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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Basking in shame

An article from David Suzuki about the endangered basking shark. He is so cool, like real like Mr Miyagi!
Basking in shame
By David Suzuki with Faisal Moola,, December 18, 2008

The basking shark is huge – often bigger than a bus. As fish go, it’s second in size only to the whale shark. It has been roaming the world’s oceans for at least 30 million years. Mariners throughout history have mistaken it for a mythical sea serpent or the legendary cadborosaurus. Despite its massive size, it feeds mostly on tiny zooplankton.

Only half a century ago, people taking a ferry from Vancouver to Vancouver Island may have spotted half a dozen lazily swimming by. But now, reported sightings are down to fewer than one a year off the B.C. coast. All indications are that this magnificent animal is on the edge of extinction. It makes my blood boil!

Over the past two centuries, people have been killing them for sport, for food, for the oil from their half-tonne livers, and to get them out of the way of commercial fishing operations. Many were also killed accidentally by fishing gear.

These animals need to be protected under strong species at risk legislation. When one species goes extinct, the repercussions cascade throughout the environment. We can’t afford any more losses.

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