Protect Sharks in the Bahamas
  • Petitioned Office of the Prime Minister

This petition was delivered to:

Office of the Prime Minister
Department of Marine Resources
Bahamas Ministry of Tourism

Protect Sharks in the Bahamas

    1. Stephanie Feldstein
    2. Petition by

      Stephanie Feldstein

      Ypsilanti, MI

  1.  
  2.   
July 2011

Victory

The Bahamas, known as the shark diving capital of the world, has become the fourth country to ban commercial shark fishing. Activists began campaigning for stronger protections after a seafood company announced plans to set up a finning operation to export shark meat and fins to Hong Kong.

Thousands of Bahamians spoke out in favor of the ban and, with shark-related tourism bringing $78 million a year to the Bahamas, the government couldn't ignore the international pressure either. Under the new law, the more than 40 species of shark found in the 243,000 square miles of water surrounding the islands will now be protected from commercial fishing operations.

The Bahamas is the shark diving capital of the world. In the 1990s, a ban on longline commercial fishing provided the ocean predators -- and the divers who love to swim with them -- a bit of a haven around the islands. But now there's a new threat to sharks: a seafood export company wants to set up a finning operation.

Shark finning is not only unsustainable, it's also incredibly cruel. The fins are sliced off the animals while they're still alive and then their bodies are dumped back in the ocean to drown or be eaten alive by other fish.

As many as 100 million sharks or more are killed every year for their fins. But to island nations who rely on healthy ocean ecosystems and tourism dollars from divers, sharks are worth more alive than dead.

According to the Bahamas Diving Association, shark tourism has brought in $800 million to the Bahamas over the past 20 years. When tourism and ocean health are at stake, international pressure makes a big difference. 

The Global Shark Conservation Campaign and local activists are urging the Bahamian government to protect sharks with a ban on commercial shark fishing and the export and trade of shark products.

Tell the Bahamian government to pass shark protections.

Photo credit: Albert kok

 

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 750 signatures
    2. Victory for Sharks in Guam, Anti-Finning Campaign Swims to Bahamas

      Stephanie Feldstein
      Petition Organizer

      As many as 100 million sharks or more are killed every year for their fins. But to island nations who rely on healthy ocean ecosystems and tourism dollars from divers, sharks are worth more alive than dead.
      Recently, Guam became the third place in...

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Mark Metz HOUSTON, TX
      • over 3 years ago

      Act now to prevent this unsustainable practice. I have personally led two group trips with 20 plus people on each trip specifically to see the sharks upclose and personal.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Stanley Wasilik HOUSTON, TX
      • over 3 years ago

      The Caribbean Sea and the Bahamas have sustainable economies based on tourism, largely supported by a global diving, swimming and snorkeling community.

      I'm extremely concerned about the diminishing beauty of the Bahama's ecosystem. I've personally noted deterioration in marine life diversity over the course of many visits to the islands over several decades.

      My plea is based not on animal cruelty, but on the fate of a signature economic force.

      Please avoid the temptation of short-term gains from shark finning. The long term results of a marred ecosystem are incalculable, irreplaceable losses of tourism to your incredibly beautiful and unique islands.

      Sincerely,

      Stan Wasilik

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Page Williams HOUSTON, TX
      • over 3 years ago

      My shark dive in the Bahamas was among my most memorable in 35 years of diving. I greatly admire your marine reserve system. How can you think of undoing that by allowing, promoting, shark finning?

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • denise edgar ST LOUIS, MO
      • over 3 years ago

      Protect these sharks ,Your countries tourism depends on them.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Dianne Hillier LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • over 3 years ago

      We should nurture compassionate thought. Since we wish to live, we should not kill any other living being. Furthermore, the karma of killing is understood as the root of all suffering and the fundamental cause of sickness and war, and the forces of killing are explicitly identified with the demonic. The highest and most universal ideal of Buddhism is to work unceasingly for permanent end to the suffering of all living beings, not just humans.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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