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Don't Eat Sharks, Even By Mistake

6/29/2016 : Mark Powell and Rebecca Ng, Vulcan Program Officers for Illegal Fishing and Marine Wildlife

Don't Eat Sharks, Even By Mistake

6/29/2016 : Mark Powell and Rebecca Ng, Vulcan Program Officers for Illegal Fishing and Marine Wildlife

 

 

If you want to help save sharks, one simple thing you can do is avoid eating sharks. There are few, if any, sustainable shark fisheries, so not eating sharks is a good choice.
 
A much trickier goal is to avoid “eating” a shark accidentally. It is estimated about 50 million sharks are caught unintentionally as bycatch every year. One of the main culprits? Tuna longline fisheries. In fact, sharks can make up more than a quarter of the total catch in certain tuna fisheries pushing some shark populations to the brink of extinction. So, if you eat the wrong kind of tuna you can indirectly “eat” a shark. 
 

Your Tuna Could Be Killing Sharks from Oceanic Preservation Society on Vimeo.

Shark Bycatch from Oceanic Preservation Society on Vimeo.

Fortunately, there is a solution. You can find sustainably-caught tuna from fisheries that protect sharks. Thanks to a new sustainable seafood program Vulcan has piloted in Seattle, Smart Catch, you can find a restaurant that serves guilt-free tuna. Other options include: Choosing tuna using advice from Seafood WatchGreenpeace’s guide to canned tuna​, or tuna certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council.  
 
Sharks are survivors. They’ve lived on earth for over 400 million years, since before the age of dinosaurs. But sharks have never faced a threat like industrial fishing. They need a little help from their friends—that’s us—to survive the next 40 years. 
 
At Vulcan, we're supporting efforts to collect critical data to understand the relationship between sharks and coral reef health through Global FinPrintand driving national and international management and protections such as Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to help protect sharks. In addition, we're collaborating with several partners to protect this diverse group of species through various initiatives focused on reducing the killing, reducing the trafficking and reducing the demand.

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