Shark Fishing Protests and Concerns

I’m making this post to talk about protests that you may have seen at our Tournament last year. The protestors are causing problems because they think the tournament allows killing sharks rather than catch-and-release. We’ve tried to explain but they just won’t listen. They want 100% catch and release.

So now we need your help!

Our shark tournament is catch and release, as well as “Bring Back the BIG ONE” shark kills. They think this is 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* “Kill” shark tournaments promote the outdated and inaccurate image of sharks as vicious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.

What they don’t tell you is that the organizer has been seen at Albany Bahamas which holds another Shark Tournament every year lounging by the pool. If that information does not get your blood boiling CHECK THIS OUT!!!

The “Are You Man Enough Shark Challenge” website had a page, “Who Benefits”, which stated that “the meat from the sharks harvested will be donated to the Fort Myers Chapter Salvation

Army Homeless Center”, and that “The Center is thrilled at the prospect of receiving such a donation of food for those who will appreciate it most.”

shark fishing

We wanted to ask why he didn’t just make a donation to the two organizations with the tournament proceeds if he wanted to project the kills in a positive light. Or why not ask the participants and/or visitors to bring food or other donations to the event? How is offering toxic shark meat to the homeless giving back to the community? It should be a crime!

The protesters have been causing some issues, so there have been security measures put in place, and we gave the guys over at home security systems fort worth a call because they’ve protected us when we had issues with the protesters.

We now have sent both of these organizations the following information regarding meat from sharks caught in Florida coastal waters. This 2008 publication from the FL Dept. of Health titled “Your Guide to Eating Fish Caught in Florida” says the following with regard to sharks (page 21):

For all Florida coastal waters, all shark species:

Sharks less than 43 inches — Women of child bearing age and young children – DO NOT EAT
; Everyone else – Limit to one serving per month
Sharks 43 inches or more — Women of child bearing age and young children – DO NOT EAT;
Everyone else – DO NOT EAT

Since all of the sharks targeted in the tournament will be well over 43 inches, and those
brought in for the weigh-in will most likely be at least double that size, all
of the shark meat that the event officials plan to donate will be in the DO NOT EAT category for EVERYONE.

Here’s a link to the full report:

http://www.doh.state.fl.us/environment/medicine/fishconsumptionadvisories/fish_eating_guide_eng.pdf

That report also highlights issues with water damage when storing your fish and footware safety so make sure to check out nike steel toe shoes for stylish but safe footwear.

We would like to know that most shark tournaments today are going to catch-and-release only, and these tournaments are very successful. Switching to catch-and-release will not take away from any financial benefit that this event might bring to the community. On the contrary, it will make the event more sustainable. A catch-and-release or tag-and-release tournament can send a positive conservation message to the community and cast sport fishermen in a positive light. A wasteful, bloody spectacle, however, will only generate negative press, and we hope jeopardize the prospects for continuing this tournament in the future.

May the Sharks be with you,
The UP Maine Team

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