Prohibiting the trade in shark fin doesn't necessarily stop sharks being killed, of that we can agree, but doing nothing at all to limit or ban trade all together absolutely guarantees things will get worse for the sharks. It doesn't take a genius to work that out. The inclusion of such magnificently Aryan nations as Germany, Iceland and Australia along with the ever so slightly swarthier France, also smacks of implying the age old race issue relating to the shark fin trade, you know, put in people's heads it's just everyone picking on Asia again...
- Like a plague of locusts, industrialised fleets, strip mine the ocean of sharks. When one area is depleted, they move onto another area. Local residents, who are often poor and traditionally dependent upon natural resources, are left to deal with the ecological consequences of oceans with no sharks.
- "Shark finning" only determines how a dead shark’s body is discarded, not how many sharks are killed or whether the shark actually lives. "Shark finning" is not the problem, too many dead sharks is the problem.
- Observer data from longline fishing boats states that approximately 90% of sharks landed are alive and could be returned to the sea alive meaning the majority of sharks caught for the fin trade are targeted and not bycatch
- At the CITES convention in 2010 eight species of shark did not get protections as a result of the shameful decision not to ban international trade in Bluefin Tuna. A decision made for one reason only. Money.
- The sharkfin trade is potentially and already, damaging to economies. A good example of the juxtaposition between destructive and sustainable environmentally reliant commercial enterprise is the island nation of Fiji, where the shark diving industry generates more money annually than the Tuna fishing industry. The major difference of course, being that one encourages, supports and relies upon live animals and healthy environments, the other is solely reliant on dead animals.
Update: Shark Savers have issued a response which is well worth reading. It appears Steve Oakley was not in the same corner as Dr Hoo, quite the opposite in fact as we would expect.