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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Six species of Atlantic sharks protected

Six species of endangered sharks which have been hunted for an Asian demand for sharkfin soup are now protected in the Atlantic.Scalloped, smooth and great hammerheads, along with oceanic white tip, cannot be targeted or taken if caught accidentally, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) said.Three other types of hammerhead are included in the ban: smalleye, scoophead, and whitefin.

Unfortunately all the news is not good. Canadian officials were not willing to close a Porbeagle shark fishery, which means this shark species has a questionable future. Why are Canadian Government officials not willing to protect this endangered shark species, in order to save a few jobs? According to the website:

In 2007 these statements were made about the Porbeagle species in Canada:

"Porbeagles are slow reproducers even by the sluggish standards of the shark world.They are not biologically equipped to take heavy fishing," said Sonja Fordham, director of the shark conservation program for the Washington-based Ocean Conservancy." (source: )

So again why has the Canadian Government refused to protect the porbeagle species? Have they done a population survey of this shark species and found the species can handle the current fishing limits imposed on this species? We deserve to know what the rationale is behind this decision of the Federal Government of Canada! 


The porbeagle (Scientific name: Lamana nasus) (pictured above) is a large pelagic shark that is most often found close to the continental shelf between Newfoundland and Labrador and the Gulf of Maine. Porbeagle meat is mainly sold in Europe, while its fins are sold to Asian markets. Source:

Source of image:

According to the following website: 

 in November, 2005 it was reported by the Canadian Government that the Department of Fisheries was engaged in a research project concerning the Porbeagle species: where it is stated:

Porbeagle Shark Migration Patterns and Location of Pupping Grounds
 "This project is designed to identify the migratory pathways and pupping grounds of porbeagle sharks to improve the international management of this species, and to possibly designate the pupping areas as marine protected areas", ....."these species are now being considered for listing as an endangered species in Canada."

At the website:  I found the following statement:

"Best evidence indicates that the porbeagle population began to decline in the 1960s. Canadian vessels joined the fishery in the 1990s with the result that reported landings reached 1,778 tonnes in 1992. According to the 2001 stock status report, the porbeagle population was under pressure from fishing and was low in abundance. Consequently, in 2002 the TAC for porbeagle was set at 250 tonnes, with 200 tonnes being directed catch and 50 tonnes as bycatch."

"As a result of this management plan, the porbeagle population has stabilized. However, population projections indicated that population recovery would require that harvest rates be kept below four per cent. In response, the TAC was lowered for the fishery in 2006 to 185 tonnes (135 tonnes directed and 50 tonnes bycatch). Given the low productivity of the porbeagle, it is expected to take several decades for this species to recover from its low abundance."

If it is going to take several decades for the porbeagle species to recover from its low abundance then why did the Canadian Government refuse to  protect this species from being overfished??

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.