Stop the South Jersey Shark Fishing Tournament

Stop the South Jersey Shark Fishing Tournament

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Beth Brown started this petition to New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and

These pictures are taken from the South Jersey Shark Fishing Tournament.

We shouldn’t be afraid of sharks; we should be afraid for sharks.

Due to human impact and activities, such as commercial shark fishing, finning, and commercial fishing nets, the shark population is decreasing rapidly. If nothing changes, sharks as a species could go extinct within our lifetime, which would throw the entire ocean ecosystem off. These creatures, as apex predators, are the most important component in maintaining a healthy and balanced ocean.

The act of finning sharks is now illegal in New Jersey, along with catching protected species. If you were to accidentally catch a protected species, you have to release it immediately (this means no taking pictures with it). The purpose of the South Jersey Shark Fishing Tournament is to weigh your catch, and those with the heaviest fish are given a cash reward. The sharks I saw included on the leaderboards for this year were the Mako shark and the Blue shark… the Mako shark is a protected species and are endangered & the Blue shark is listed as near threatened. These animals, once caught, will inevitably die. It doesn’t matter if the fishermen release them (however, in this particular situation the sharks are caught at sea and brought back to the venue to be weighed which basically serves as a death sentence), the stress of being caught causes the fish to almost always die within hours or days after being released. Catch & release for these animals is pointless, because they die anyway.

I understand this tournament is a tradition, some people might have even been participating in it for their whole life. However, today, it’s estimated that over 100 million sharks are being killed every year. It is my greatest fear that one day we’ll have an ocean where sharks don’t exist. These aren’t fishermen catching and selling sharks to feed their families; this is a sport where animals are needlessly dying. Please help save the ocean by saving the sharks. Hopefully with this tournament shut down we can keep the ocean as we know it for a little bit longer, and inspire more to restore it to the clean & abundant body of water it once was.  

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!