Shark Finning on the Great Barrier Reef

We recently became aware that the fisheries department of the Australian government intends to create a shark fishery within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Site.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a site of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common heritage of all humanity. It is in effect the international version of our national parks. For instance, Yellowstone National Park is UNESCO World Heritage listed.

This proposal, driven by greed and the huge amount of money being made in the shark finning trade is akin to giving out mass hunting permits for Yellowstone or using the Grand Canyon as an open pit mine. It is unconscionable.

Only 4 species of sharks are protected by this proposal while 28 Australian shark species are listed by the IUCN’s Red List or Australia’s EPBC as endangered or threatened. To allow fishing of 24 species that are nearing extinction is by definition unsustainable and irresponsible.

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