Save our Sharks in South Africa

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Several South African shark species are being heavily overfished to the point of stock collapse. They are being killed in our waters by the thousands, hacked to death whilst still alive, finned and filleted - all for the overseas markets. The fins are sold to Asian countries for shark fin soup and the fillets land in fish and chip shops in Australia as “Flake and Chips”. Australians have protected their commercial shark stocks and marine ecosystems with strict quotas but are very happy for us to destroy ours to satisfy their demand.

This unsustainable practice depletes our shark resources and is changing our marine ecosystems at an alarming rate. Equally importantly it leaves no food for the endangered and protected Great White Sharks which for most of their life rely on these smaller shark species as their primary food source. 

As a result of this unscrupulous and unmanaged fishery the Great White Sharks have all but vanished from the waters of South Africa.  With less great whites than snow leopards this iconic shark species is likely to become extinct along the South African coast in the near future. This is ironic since South Africa was the first country ever to grant legal protection to the White Shark, now due to a total lack of government action we are rapidly loosing this species.  

There is overwhelming evidence that the reason for this shark demise can be hung on the hooks of the demersal longline shark fishing operations.

Although a permitted operation, DEFF has been unable (rather incompetent) in setting a maximum sustainable upper catch limit, no slot limit, no observers and no environmental assessment for the last 15 years! Currently the catch volume is nearly 3 times the scientific recommended limit despite fisheries managers knowing that all the target species are in various states of collapse….  thus crashing our resources to a point of no return. This fishery has also been caught fishing inside Marine Protected areas such as De Hoop and has been seen killing hundreds of Cites protected hammerhead sharks.

Sadly, despite massive international condemnation, many international news and TV stories and massive opposition all along the Cape Coast line from conservationists, scientists, tourism operators and other commercial and recreational fishermen. the political and governmental will to protect our sharks is sadly lacking.

Please add your name to the petition to be sent on social media to Minister Barbara Creecy to stop this slaughter and restore shark populations for more sustainable and environmentally responsible ways of non consumptive utilization for future generations of South Africans to enjoy.