End live sharks being forced out of water for tourist photos
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Nurse sharks, a docile shark breed that usually poses no threat to humans, are currently subject to exploitation and abuse at a restaurant called Playa Tiburón (Shark Beach) on Isla Mujeres, an island just off the coast of Cancun, Mexico.
Here, a nurse shark is in a small enclosure off the dock. Many tour boats and catamarans take hundreds of tourists to this famous dock daily. For free, tourists can go in the enclosure, hold the shark out of the water, get their picture taken with it, and pay $20 USD for the photo. Tour guides will tell you the money goes toward conservation of coral reefs and sea life, but how can true conservation of sea life occur when sea life itself is being suffocated hundreds of times every day?
This is abuse. Nurse sharks are nocturnal animals; forcing human interaction throughout the day is damaging to their physical and mental health. Pulling them out of the water suffocates the animal, denying them of the proper oxygen needed to live a healthy life. Nurse sharks are also social animals that travel in schools; they even like to rest in piles of top of each other! Being in a small enclosure away from their kind under the exploitation of humans strips the life and integrity of this beautiful animal.
This cruel practice must end. We are kindly asking Playa Tiburón and Isla Mujeres to put and end to this heinous act on innocent nurse sharks. The signers of this petition would love to visit your gorgeous beaches. However, unless change occurs, the signers of this petition will abstain from taking tours to Isla Mujeres.
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