Tag Archives: Vertebrates

The world’s shark populations are experiencing significant declines and maybe extinction



Shark fins are worth more than other parts of the shark and are often removed from the body, which gets thrown back into the sea. Many countries allow the fins to be landed detached from shark bodies, as long as their weight does not exceed five per cent of the total shark catch.




A study published in the journal Fish Biology analyzes the fin to body weight ratios for 50 different shark species. The authors find the average fin to body mass is three per cent — considerably lower than the five per cent ratio currently legislated by the EU and other countries.

“The five percent ratio provides an opportunity to harvest extra fins from more sharks without retaining 100 per cent of the corresponding shark carcasses,” says Sea Around Us Project

researcher Leah Biery, lead author of the study. “It does not prevent waste or overfishing, as the law intended.” Currently, the EU and eight other countries use at least a five per cent shark fin to body weight ratio for landed catch. Only 59 countries in the world have any legislation related to sharks.





“This is a big concern because the loss of sharks can affect the wider ecosystem,” said Mike Heithaus, executive director of FIU’s School of Environment, Arts and Society and co-author of the paper. “In working with tiger sharks, we’ve seen that if we don’t have enough of these predators around, it causes cascading changes in the ecosystem, that trickle all the way down to marine plants.” Such changes can harm other species, and may negatively affect commercial fisheries, Heithaus explains.

Here is another example of them setting legislation that is set in place without looking at the whole picture. It also shows that there are people or companies are more worried about the money then the effects of overfishing will have.


University of British Columbia. “Law that regulates shark fishery is too liberal, experts say.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120302132548.htm>.

Dalhousie University. “Shark fisheries globally unsustainable: 100 million sharks die every year.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130301153245.htm>.

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. “Sharks In Peril: Ocean’s Fiercest Predators Now Vulnerable To Extinction.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080217083422.htm>.


The Last Atlantic Cod

      In the 1850s New England cod  fisherman pressured the government to do something about the decreasing cod in their areas.   So, in 1857 the Legislator put limits on the increasing Menhaden fisheries that are an important food source for Cod.     This attempt did not accomplish much by looking at the continually decreasing catch of Atlantic Cod.
        Then the age of technology comes into scene, trawlers with diesel engines.   Fishing faster and deeper, this benefited the fishermen and continued the depletion of cod exponentially. Now the cod populations have dwindled to less than 1 percent of what was around in the 1800s and the fishermen are out of work.
      Who is to blame for lack of management and over exploitation? Bolster puts the blame on our “system”, not the fishermen, scientists or politicians, but the neglect to take control of our seemingly need and nature to exploit any natural resource we can get our hands on.
        In all of America’s history we should be learning from our mistakes going from East to West.   It is black and white, this is how we messed up, let us not do it again.   Right? Well it does not seem that easy.   When there is a market for natural resources, we will, by God, supply that demand.   We will deplete stocks, ruin water systems and kill of whole species for our immediate well being. As it continues, we can only create a positive and loud voice in the public to make people in power aware that every action has a reaction, we must consider what all the reaction may be before acting so quickly.

Where Have All the Cod Gone?