Wednesday, July 18, 2012


by Robin

This past Sunday, Jack and I were on a date, eating a nice meal at the port when the "head boats" came in with people & their haul.  We're always up for seeing what they've hauled in, especially since so many species are restricted. 

Well, the first boat unloaded and they were so proud to put up the cobia first.  He is nice.  They were saying 40 lbs but when I walked up to him, my guess was closer to 25-30 lbs.  He looks thick from this angle but he simply didn't have the shoulders to be in the upper-class.  We've caught cobia at both weights and I'm calling bologna on 40 lbs.  But, that wasn't my issue.  Look at all the sharks!!

Look.  Look.  I mean, let this really sink in.


No, really, let this SINK IN.....  I did my best to count tail fins.  I had 26. AND there was ANOTHER tub of sharks on the ground that they couldn't even fit onto the table with possibly another dozen in there. 

You do the math.  Take roughly 35 sharks out of the ocean, possibly 4 days a week with good weather and a boat with plenty of people.. 140 a week.  Then, there are daily night shark fishing trips also out of the port which take... say another 140 a week. (These are rough guesses, not actual numbers.) 280.  Say, this migration of sharks lasts a good month. We're up to 1120 sharks. And for good measure, let's say that another boat or two are doing the same thing. Conservatively, we could be killing 2240 sharks during the summer months out of Port Canaveral.  This is ridiculous slaughter of a top predator in the ocean. 

The sister boat to the one photographed above went to a different location and picked up a decent catch of mangrove snappers for their clients. And I see only 3 sharks laying on the table.  Not only do the snappers eat BETTER than shark, but most all of the shark meat above will be tainted with high uric acid because none of these sharks were gutted righted after being caught.  (Google it, if you don't believe me) Sharks urinate through their skin and the acid is trapped in there in death if you do not remove the organs right away.


Anyhow, the anger of seeing all these sharks killed (I'm even wondering if they had 1 shark per person or more....) was only compounded by the fact that these head boats are forced to find something for their clients to take home with them.  If they were able to take home a single snapper, they would evenly distributed what was taken from the ocean.  But instead, shutting down one or several species at once, ends up putting too much pressure on the remaining open species.  On Sunday, it was OPEN SEASON for shark, it appears.   I don't call this fisheries management one bit!!   It feels about as haphazard as the government trying to fix healthcare without considering what the doctors' recommend. 

It was posted recently on the SAFMC FB wall that they were considering online discussions & comments rather than face-to-face public comment sessions.  We need to sit together & discuss this stuff.  I am seeing a species annhilated while another is in over-abundance and NOBODY IS LISTENING. 

If somebody is reading this and you care about this issue, please comment.  I feel like I'm alone in my anger about the overfishing of sharks. 


No comments: