I Made the Push to Protect Europe’s Sharks

The public support to close loopholes in the EU shark finning ban during last year’s European Shark Week (October 15th – 23rd) has been phenomenal. Thanks to the 165,000 people who signed the “Make the Push” petition, we are getting closer to make shark protection in Europe a reality! I am proud to be part of this effort.

The EU Parliament now needs to agree to the Commission’s proposal on the shark finning ban and CITES delegates need to grant trade protection to the most threatened shark species. So let’s keep the pressure on! We’re nearly there …

The Countdown to Secure Trade Protection for Sharks Starts NOW

Did you know? Only three shark species are protected under CITES regulations (great white, whale shark and basking shark). Yet many shark species such as scalloped hammerhead, porbeagle and spiny dogfish are on the brink of extinction!

In less than one year’s time, Government officials from all around the world will meet in Thailand to discuss the fate of the most threatened and heavily traded shark species. With 175 member countries the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) sets controls on the international trade and movement of animals and plants at risks of becoming extinct.

Many shark populations have declined dramatically over the past thirty years, some by as much as 99%. By supporting the Big Shark Shout Out campaign and signing the CITES petition you can give sharks a fighting chance and ensure the most vulnerable shark species get the trade protection they desperately need.

Sign the CITES petition TODAY

SHARK FINNING

The burgeoning and largely unregulated trade in shark fins represents one of the most serious threats to shark populations worldwide.

Shark finning (the cruel practice which involves slicing fins from sharks at sea and dumping their bodies overboard) is not only an Asian problem. Shark fin soup can be found in many restaurants across the world and many countries export shark fins to the Asian market.

According to some studies, every country with a coastline export fins to Hong Kong. Despite a shark finning ban implemented in 2003 in Europe for instance, EU countries (particularly Spain) continue to be the single largest supplier of shark fins to the Hong Kong market.

WHY SHARKS ARE IMPORTANT

Sharks play an important role in keeping the ocean healthy and in balance. They regulate the quantity and health of other species of fish and invertebrates. Sharks quite often prey on sick, diseased or old animals. This prevents the disease or sickness from spreading and  creates habitat space for other animals. Oceans without sharks are oceans out of balance, which means trouble for everyone who depends on oceans for food, jobs and enjoyment. All of us really!

Support for shark protection is difficult to achieve because of the persistent irrational fear of sharks. A change in attitude, perception, media coverage, and improved conservation legislation and fishing policies are desperately needed. Public support for shark conservation is crucial to balance short-term interests and ensure that strong and enforceable shark conservation measures are implemented.

We can’t afford to ignore the fate of sharks because some of us are afraid of these animals or because this slaughter happens miles out at sea where no one sees it. The results of the loss of sharks will have effects beyond our  imagination and beyond our current ability to understand.

SIGN Petition Fish Now says Bernard the Gurnard

red gurnard image

Red gurnards are bottom-dwelling fish to be found on gravelly, sandy, or rocky seabeds around the UK. They feed on smaller fish and crustaceans.

Meet Bernard the Gunard – He’s red, he’s got scales and fins, he lives on a seabed in UK waters, and he’s on a quest to make sure the UK’s marine wildlife gets the protection it needs. He is the new face and voice of The Wildlife Trusts’ ‘Petition Fish’ campaign.

He stars in an animation telling the story of his plight to find a marine utopia in the form of his very own MPA, a refuge for him and the other sea creatures he lives with. The animation contains a strong call to action – to support The Wildlife Trusts’ Petition Fish campaign. The aim of Petition Fish is to demonstrate public support for Marine Protected Areas by gathering signatures online, by text, and at Wildlife Trust events.

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