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Friday, May 8, 2009

Shark Kill Tournament Protest Demonstration in Fort Myers Beach FL

This is a repost from the Shark Safe Project. Click here to read the whole post for more information on the protest.

What century are we in now that shark kill tournaments are still deemed as acceptable? We're not cavemen, why are such shows of "manliness" still condoned in civilized society.

Shark Kill Tournament Protest Demonstration in Fort Myers Beach FL
Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Shark Safe is organizing a protest demonstration against the “Are You Man Enough Shark Challenge” in Fort Myers, Florida. This shark tournament is boasting “Bring Back the BIG ONE” shark kills. The tournament organizer Jack Donlon has been contacted by many shark conservationists and prominent shark researchers from the state of Florida in an attempt to discourage them from taking or killing sharks for the sole purpose of proving the “Manhood of the Fishermen”. Thus far, no adjustment to the rules has been made as Mr. Donlon has simply disregarded these pleas.

Shark Safe is opposed to all killing of sharks however we are EXTREMELY opposed to tournaments such as this abomination! Here are some unbiased and logical reasons, which have been presented to Mr. Donlon, why tournaments such as this one are so terrible for sharks:
  • Most of the large sharks being targeted are on the IUCN list of endangered species.
  • Populations of large shark species have been reduced by over 90% in the past 30 years (over 100 million sharks killed per year worldwide -- mostly for shark fin soup).
  • 80-90% of all shark populations just in the Atlantic have been reduced to levels that scientist believe can never recover.
  • As apex predators, sharks are absolutely vital to the ocean's ecosystem -- they maintain the balance in the oceans. Without sharks the oceans die.
  • "Kill" shark tournaments promote the outdated and inaccurate image of sharks as vicious man killers that need to be killed.
In addition to these obvious problems, the current format of the tournament encourages killing of the largest and likely sexually mature sharks. And since each team is only allowed to bring in one dead shark to be weighed, it promotes catching and killing sharks such that at the end of the tournament, each team will only keep the biggest one to be weighed in, while discarding the rest of the sharks back into the water deceased.

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