Should shark fishing be banned?

34 posts

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shark_fin_soup
Tigers, elephants, whales and dolphins, animals we all are against killing to the brink of extinction so why is it different with sharks? sharks play a vital role in the balance of the ocean. Yes they kill maybe a hundred of us a year but we kill millions of them. (http://saveourseas.com/articles/how_many_sharks_are_caught_each_year)

However on the other side of the wall the shark fin soup is a vital role in China’s economy and is a traditional status symbol in their culture. While it may seem horrible to us to them it may be like eating a cow. We shouldn’t e so quick to judge cultures that are not our own.

What I’d like to know from you:
Do you think hunting sharks for their fins is wrong? Why or why not?
If so should it be completely banned or only banned when in not in season?
Is culture more important than preserving the environment?
Do you have a deep fear of sharks?

My 2 cents:
No I do not believe hunting sharks for their fins should be legal because sharks are a apex predator which keeps other animals from overpopulating. That and Discovery channel will lose a lot of views for no longer having shark week. it takes sharks forever to repopulate what they lose and they eventually we become extinct if we remain at our current rate.

I believe it should be banned when not In season and be regulated to a certain number of catches per fishery.

no.

I am not afraid but I am cautious, meaning I am not deliberately afraid of sharks but I wouldn’t go hit one in the nose.

 
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Well international bans on hunting marine animals with worldwide population distribution can be pretty difficult to enforce. Once you’re in international waters you’ll have a hell of a time enforcing anything. That and it’s pretty damn difficult to get all the countries to agree on the ban and not seek any loop holes in the law to hunt protected species anyway {cough}{cough}Japan{cough}{cough} whaling{cough}

Just saying, just because it sounds easy, doesn’t mean it will be an easy task.

 
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Shark fishing should not be banned, it should be regulated.

 
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My main problem with shark hunting is that they are killed for a very small part of the body used to decorate a bowl of soup. If they were killed for their meat in regulation and the majority of the animal used then that is different but killing a shark, or rather maiming and leaving to slowly die, just for a bit of soup décor is rather a sick practice.

It maybe ‘culture’ but once they are extinct their culture will have to change definitively so the whole “preserving culture” angle is rather short sighted as the culture could be preserved for longer if they protect the ecosystem that allows the culture to exist.

 
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It’s not just the Chinese who eat sharks. I used to be partial to rock salmon, which was a cheap and popular fish. But declining numbers due to overfishing mean it is now quite hard to find and rather expensive. Almost the whole fish is edible.

 
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b-b-but guys, its part of their CULTURE!!!!

who cares if its irreversibly fucking up the ecosystem? we need to preserve their CULTURE!!!!

also its part of my CULTURE to sacrifice babies to satan so u have to let me do it lol

discuss how letting ppl do terrible things in the name of “culture” is a really great thing that cant be abused at all!!!!!!

 
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My jolly is wondering which will come first upon my final rest on a deathbed: the world situation, in all of its “glory”, so fucked up that I can unequivocally say I told you so; or, will I be able to dance off into the darkness w/ Grim Reaper just before things get even worse than THAT and I have begun to give serious consideration of meeting him half way.

 
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Originally posted by beauval:

It’s not just the Chinese who eat sharks. I used to be partial to rock salmon, which was a cheap and popular fish.

Heh, you know I never realised rock was a species of shark. I’ve eaten that plenty of times; it’s got a much stronger flavor than cod, and far less bones to fiddle with than skate. So I’m just as guilty as beauval and the Chinese, of diminishing the shark population, whoops.

Preserving their culture is going to be important in securing the cooperation of the Chinese, I suspect. So, we’re either looking at cloning farms to replicate the fish just for the decorative bit (wasteful), or gene splicing the code for the desired structure onto another creature so it can be harvested more easily. Use mice for the donor tissue most likely as their genome has been explored forwards, backwards, upside down and inverted, and the practice is rather common.

The absolutely critical bit would be coming up with a way of mass producing the desired pieces of flesh more cheaply than they can be gained from ocean fishing. Do that and you can kick the feet out from under the ocean harvesting operations.

But whichever method of dealing with the problem is chosen, it’ll have to be started sooner rather than later, whilst we still have the actual shark species genome to work with. Once they are extinct, or near-as-damnit extinct, it’ll be far too late to find healthy specimens to extract the code from.

 
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The reality of it is, if you can trust what them thar “scientists” say, that species come & go; and, nature is still alive and well. All of this protecting “endangered species” might actually be a fool’s folly … a feely-good exercise for the tree huggers & guys/gals, with exoteric degrees that don’t pay shit, something to do w/ themselves and their “interesting” brain-power.

The stark & scary reality of it is that we aren’t all that sure just HOW She did it … what “price” Mother Nature exacted from her domain. She might have done it by killing off the more dominate life form(s) and “starting all over from scratch”.

 
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Originally posted by karmakoolkid:

The reality of it is, if you can trust what them thar “scientists” say, that species come & go; and, nature is still alive and well.

[snip]

She might have done it by killing off the more dominate life form(s) and “starting all over from scratch”.

There is mounting evidence that we are in the early stages  of a sixth mass extinction event.

If so, then yes nature is ‘cleaning house’ of all more complex lifeforms, and we have a serious problem on our hands.

 
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Originally posted by vikaTae:
Originally posted by karmakoolkid:

The reality of it is, if you can trust what them thar “scientists” say, that species come & go; and, nature is still alive and well.

[snip]

She might have done it by killing off the more dominate life form(s) and “starting all over from scratch”.

There is mounting evidence that we are in the early stages  of a sixth mass extinction event.

If so, then yes nature is ‘cleaning house’ of all more complex lifeforms, and we have a serious problem on our hands.

Let’s just hope Homo sapien is one of the species that gives way to something better

 
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Originally posted by dd790:

Let’s just hope Homo sapien is one of the species that gives way to something better

So long as there’s still time to reembody those of us who would prefer to survive the extinction of homo sapiens, I can certainly drink to that!


but yes, if most complex life dies out because the biospheres are severely compromised, then homo sapiens certainly won’t be immune from the dieback. We are not even remotely near as disconnected from the food cycle as we seem to think we are.

Banning hunting of one species or a handful of species isn’t going to cut it as a solution. Environmental preservation is something that will have to be done either holistically, or not at all. Otherwise, it’s akin to trying to bail the boat out with a bucket when a half dozen torpedoes have blown holes in the hull.

 
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Okay…. just wow. Some people, like me. Even rely on catching sharks to live. There are literally millions, even more than we know of live deeper where we can’t go. There is no need if they aren’t endangered. Tigers and all the others I understand, but sharks? No way.

 
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Originally posted by HitmanPwner:

Okay…. just wow. Some people, like me. Even rely on catching sharks to live. There are literally millions, even more than we know of live deeper where we can’t go. There is no need if they aren’t endangered. Tigers and all the others I understand, but sharks? No way.

Obviously deep water sharks and shallow water sharks fill the same niche!!! I’m sure the deep water sharks are just waiting to start living closer to the surface!!!!!!

 
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Yes i would say yes. Isn’t it mostly the Chinese that fish for them. They cut off their fins and make it for soop. This can run them to extinction and that would through their whole Eco system outa place.

 
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Originally posted by CaptMilkshake:

Yes i would say yes. Isn’t it mostly the Chinese that fish for them. They cut off their fins and make it for soop. This can run them to extinction and that would through their whole Eco system outa place.

No, lol. A lot of Americans make shark steaks. Yummy!

 
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Originally posted by HitmanPwner:
Originally posted by CaptMilkshake:

Yes i would say yes. Isn’t it mostly the Chinese that fish for them. They cut off their fins and make it for soop. This can run them to extinction and that would through their whole Eco system outa place.

No, lol. A lot of Americans make shark steaks. Yummy!

(gags)

 
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Well it depends on the specific species of shark, there are enough of certain species where as others are going extinct.

And Vika I doubt we will be able to prevent a mass extinction nor do I think we are at the beginning of one, I think we are already in the middle of one, we have already killed between 10 and 25% of all species alive before the industrial evolution. That is a speed not matched by any other mass extinction, and a mass extinction seems almost inevitable now even if all man made objects and all humans were to disappear overnight.

I think that our best bet is really in massive research project in food production independent of the normal food chain. Combined with ensuring that at least a group of key species can survive we might make it through.

 
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Originally posted by thijser:

And Vika I doubt we will be able to prevent a mass extinction nor do I think we are at the beginning of one, I think we are already in the middle of one, we have already killed between 10 and 25% of all species alive before the industrial evolution. That is a speed not matched by any other mass extinction, and a mass extinction seems almost inevitable now even if all man made objects and all humans were to disappear overnight.

I doubt we will either, but we might be able to slow it. Buy time to find a way out of this hole we’ve dug for ourselves. But protecting individual species won’t do that. We need to protect entire biospheres, in fact go further than protecting them and help them recover, if we wish to slow the cascade collapse. It’ll still collapse, as the biospheres interact with one another, and a collapse in one will disrupt adjacent systems regardless of what we do.

But, if we’re going to do that, it has to be an all-out endeavor. If we’re just going to pick and choose individual species without thinking about the role they play in the environment; the species supporting them and the species they support, then we might as well not bother, as it’s not going to work. We’d end up entirely artificially breeeding and feeding that species, whilst the biosphere still collapses around our ears – and then what are we going to feed it? Because by that point food for our own use is going to be a very major problem.

I think that our best bet is really in massive research project in food production independent of the normal food chain. Combined with ensuring that at least a group of key species can survive we might make it through.

This is one reason (of many, many reasons) I’m so interested in changing our substrate. If we assume that systemic collapse of the ecosystem is inevitable (which given human nature to ignore a problem until we’re staring into the looming maw of the abyss directly, is the most likely outcome), then one way to survive it might well be to break ourselves free of the organic foodchain.

If we don’t have to be organic based any more, it opens up possibilities for more of our population to survive such an event. If we can get to the point where organic and inorganic can work side by side, then we’ve got a way to return to our current state once the planet has recovered (and given that this is the sixth massive dieback, it is very likely to recover … eventually).


As an aside, I’m not necessarily saying that the above solution is the best one. It’s just that I’d prefer to have as many options on the table as possible, so there are multiple different ways to survive this mess we’ve made for ourselves, and survive in sufficient numbers that we still have a civilisation to work with. Personally, I’d take the inorganic route, but just because I would take it does not mean I would recommend it for everyone else.

 
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Personally I don’t really like the idea of becoming non-organic(although my current projects are not really supporting this view as I’m currently working on augemented reality and might (depening on the group I end up in and my personal choice) after the summer start working on an artifical limb for a minor). I also don’t think it’s something we will be able to do within less then the 100 years I think we have left until our food supply is damaged to the point that we will be unable to futher afford research in this area (research requires exess production capacity something we likely will not have during a mass extinction).

I think the future might be in this case in either becoming better at keeping food in greenhouses while making sure the species required for this make it through (bees for example would be very useful and sadly they are in trouble). We can also look into various ways genetic modifications can help us by that point. Through accidentally release of GMO corps into nature and the large amounts of poisons often used on these crops can also speed up the mass extinction.

As far as picking one species goes I favor a system that they have been trying in the south of France where they declare large track of water as complete “no take zones” meaning that nothing can be taken from there (at all). This actually improved the amount of fish the fisherman were able to take outside of the area by so much that it offset their inability to fish in these areas. There were now planning to extend this as a checkerboard pattern(tiles of 1 by 1 km)to cover more areas of the sea and improve both wildlife and food supply. It was however met with a lot of resitance of the fisherman who believed it wouldn’t help and by the fact that a few people who fish illegally can ruin it.

 
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Originally posted by thijser:

Personally I don’t really like the idea of becoming non-organic(although my current projects are not really supporting this view as I’m currently working on augemented reality and might (depening on the group I end up in and my personal choice) after the summer start working on an artifical limb for a minor).

Ooh. Who might you be interning with? Active or passive prosthetic?

I also don’t think it’s something we will be able to do within less then the 100 years I think we have left until our food supply is damaged to the point that we will be unable to futher afford research in this area (research requires exess production capacity something we likely will not have during a mass extinction).

I doubt things will come to a head that quickly. The ball’s rolling, but it’s still got a long ways to go. We’ll probably hit a severe resource crunch this century, and global climate change will be redefining coastlines most likely within 200 years. In the middle of that lot will be increasing desertification, crop failures, extinction of many bee species, et cetera. I’d guestimate we have a couple of centuries before it reaches the point where our species’ very survival is questionable.

It sounds like a long time when you say it like that, but it’s really not, especially when you look at the sorts of knowledge we will have to have by that point if we wish to weather the storm, versus the levels of knowledge we have now.

It’s long-term resource availability that’s going to be the main problem that will slow us down, as we have significant research capability now but there’s no guarantee we’ll be able to afford to keep those capability levels going long-term as the various countries battle for resource aquisition to keep their economies going strong. So it’s kinda a “do the research now, rather than put it off till later” kindof thing, and makes it incredibly annoying every time a country (yes, I’m looking at you, United States) decides to scale back the number and type of scientific programs it is willing to fund for political reasons.

I think the future might be in this case in either becoming better at keeping food in greenhouses while making sure the species required for this make it through (bees for example would be very useful and sadly they are in trouble).

Vertical farming in self-contained skyscrapers is certainly one avenue being explored. Problem is, we are decidedly crap at maintaining artificial biospheres, and vast amounts of more research and expensive practical trials are needed in this area, so we can create sustainable artificial ecosystems. Right now the collective amount of research in that area amounts to bupkis. Biosphere 2 was the last serious experiment in the area, and the sheer number of problems and minor disasters that hounded the project made it very, very clear how far we have yet to go in understanding how to create a sustainable closed ecosystem.

Despite the realisation that we are so far from being able to create viable artificial biospheres, that was the last serious such project to be funded. Since Biosphere 2’s experiments were halted, just over a decade ago, no new projects have been started, nor are there any in the pipeline. We can’t really afford such complacency, to sit on our laurels, and hope both the financial resources and time are available in later years when the dieback is more blatantly obvious.

As far as picking one species goes I favor a system that they have been trying in the south of France where they declare large track of water as complete “no take zones” meaning that nothing can be taken from there (at all). This actually improved the amount of fish the fisherman were able to take outside of the area by so much that it offset their inability to fish in these areas. There were now planning to extend this as a checkerboard pattern(tiles of 1 by 1 km)to cover more areas of the sea and improve both wildlife and food supply. It was however met with a lot of resitance of the fisherman who believed it wouldn’t help and by the fact that a few people who fish illegally can ruin it.

That sounds like a good idea. Presumably a wireless ad-hoc sensor network would greatly help in monitoring the water zones, and triggering an alert if human activity wanders in. The challenges of covering 1km square bodies of open water with wireless sensors, not have them float off and still be able to monitor the surface, are sadly, not insignificant.

Perhaps a lagrangian network of buoys would work best, tracking large wave displacements such as produced by a boat passing where it’s not supposed to be passing would be one of the most efficient ways of monitoring the situation. Minimal upkeep, maximal coverage.

 
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As far as picking one species goes I favor a system that they have been trying in the south of France where they declare large track of water as complete “no take zones” meaning that nothing can be taken from there (at all). This actually improved the amount of fish the fisherman were able to take outside of the area by so much that it offset their inability to fish in these areas.

We have been doing that kind of thing in British waters too. Fishermen here found exactly the same thing. After initially being sceptical about it, they have found that leaving nursery areas alone has resulted in improved catches and larger fish. Despite being an obvious success, the government is being very slow in expanding the scheme.

But it did lead the charge in Brussels, making a huge fuss about the Common Fisheries Policy, resulting in a number of overdue and very sensible changes. The new policy took effect earlier this year, but passed almost unnoticed because that sort of thing doesn’t sell many papers.

 
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During a recent trip to Jamaica, I was talking to fishermen and they were telling me of this invasion. Interesting impact on the reef ecosystem.

Locally, we have another kind of invasion that results in our water tasting like shit sometime around about now because of the algal bloom

Zebra mussels are a problem because they filter water, up to a liter a day, to eat plankton. Although this filtering action may clear up the water, clear water does NOT mean clean water and the clear water zebra mussels leave behind will often lead to algal blooms that are harmful to people. The clear water can also let UV rays damage fish eggs laid during the spawn.

I drink distilled water year round. Even though our water dept. filters the water, the bloom smell still puts ppl off from wanting to use/drink it.
Part of the reason I drink distilled is this. Our public drinking water is not 100% free of the protozoa because it is so hard (expensive) to make it so. That means there are “acceptable” levels of it; along w/ a host of other contaminates.

I’m not wanting to divert the thread from what is IN the water.
I’m merely saying that such might end up being a moot point all too soon if we don’t start taking our world water supply seriously. Those who supply & manage water resources will be the new powerbrokers in the near future.

 
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Ooh. Who might you be interning with? Active or passive prosthetic?

It would be part of a minor robotics however it’s all very vague as of now because we have to decide and run our own projects ourselves (and thus decide entirely what we want to do)and will be judged on the results at the end. This is however something I have heard another student talk about and would interest me as well. Such a device would be active seeing as you would otherwise have little use of me in a project (computer science student).


It’s long-term resource availability that’s going to be the main problem that will slow us down, as we have significant research capability now but there’s no guarantee we’ll be able to afford to keep those capability levels going long-term as the various countries battle for resource aquisition to keep their economies going strong. So it’s kinda a “do the research now, rather than put it off till later” kindof thing, and makes it incredibly annoying every time a country (yes, I’m looking at you, United States) decides to scale back the number and type of scientific programs it is willing to fund for political reasons.

I think this is the main problem, I wasn’t saying that we will all die in 100 years just that our research capacity might be reduced by the time we reach 2100. Especially as a research is dependend on exces production (you don’t wonder about the nature of the universe when you are starving, you think about how to get your next meal). Add to that that each extinct species also makes it more difficult to build for example artifical biospheres.

Vertical farming in self-contained skyscrapers is certainly one avenue being explored. Problem is, we are decidedly crap at maintaining artificial biospheres, and vast amounts of more research and expensive practical trials are needed in this area, so we can create sustainable artificial ecosystems. Right now the collective amount of research in that area amounts to bupkis. Biosphere 2 was the last serious experiment in the area, and the sheer number of problems and minor disasters that hounded the project made it very, very clear how far we have yet to go in understanding how to create a sustainable closed ecosystem.

Despite the realisation that we are so far from being able to create viable artificial biospheres, that was the last serious such project to be funded. Since Biosphere 2’s experiments were halted, just over a decade ago, no new projects have been started, nor are there any in the pipeline. We can’t really afford such complacency, to sit on our laurels, and hope both the financial resources and time are available in later years when the dieback is more blatantly obvious.

Well a lot more is being invested in greenhouses and making them more self substaining. I have a friend who will after the summer start working on a project where they are designing ibetter dessert greenhouses. These are already pretty self substaining as they recycle most of their water and try to use insects for keeping pests under control so there is some research going in that dirrection (might be just in the Netherlands though seeing as we do 2 things a lot: plants and water). Still it gives some hope in that dirrection. \


That sounds like a good idea. Presumably a wireless ad-hoc sensor network would greatly help in monitoring the water zones, and triggering an alert if human activity wanders in. The challenges of covering 1km square bodies of open water with wireless sensors, not have them float off and still be able to monitor the surface, are sadly, not insignificant.


Perhaps a lagrangian network of buoys would work best, tracking large wave displacements such as produced by a boat passing where it’s not supposed to be passing would be one of the most efficient ways of monitoring the situation. Minimal upkeep, maximal coverage.


I think more allong the lines of satalites seeing as these buoys could also affect local wild life and a single satalite can quickly covor a lot of water (just send a ship whenever you see something that shouldn’t be there). While that might not be 100% a small number of satalites combined with the right image proccessing techniques can easily cover the entire ocean each week.

 
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With satellites you have hefty associated launch fees. I was trying to keep costs to a minimum. In addition on a cloudy day you have a severe problem when using a satellite.

A stratellite might work as a compromise. Lower altitude, much, much lower costs, assuming Sanswire manage to get the prototypes functioning on schedule.

Still, something at the water level still might be a good idea, to cover inclement weather, as that’s the most likely time for someone with half a brain to sneak out onto the water.