Thursday, August 2, 2012

France's Backward Shark Bounty

Last I checked, it is not 1975, and we are not in the movie Jaws.  But that's how far backward we've stepped with France's bounty on bull sharks.

"French fishermen will be on the hunt for a vulnerable shark species off the coast of the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion soon – and will pocket government cash for their kills after a dramatic rise in deadly attacks pushed Paris to take unprecedented measures," according to the Huffington Post.

Talk about sending the wrong message.  Conquering and fighting nature brought us to where we are now, and most people agree, people have messed up nature pretty badly.  We won, but spoiled the spoils.

How about connecting with nature rather than destroying it?  Everyone wins when we live with the rhythm.  Sharks are important top predators that are key to healthy oceans, and healthy oceans mean healthy people.

Health that is threatened as millions of sharks are killed every year for shark fin soup.  Shark fin soup has fortunately been banned in many places but not in others.  If not soup, then sharks still face ocean warming, overfishing, and ocean pollution.

Targeting sharks does not even work. "Some researchers contend that the French initiative will not work as planned. Christopher Neff, a shark-attack researcher at the University of Sydney in Australia, said that statistics and an ineffective decade long cull in Hawaii prove that 'shark hunts just don't work to reduce the number of attacks,'" according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

So maybe instead of Vive La France, let's try Longues Requins Vivants (long live sharks)!

Image: Universal Studios

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