Conservation International (CI) is urging the provincial government of Bali to outlaw the capture and harvesting of sharks, particularly long-tailed sharks for the harvesting of shark’s fin.
According to CI, as many as 100 sharks are captured and killed each day in the waters surrounding Bali, primarily off the shore of Nusa Penida and Ahmed, near Karangasem.
Quoted by Beritabali.com, a researcher from CI Indonesia, Mark Van Erdman, said on November 11, 2011 that the large-scale slaughter of sharks threatens the sustainability of the shark population. This is of particular concern in Bali, which is considered a breeding area for the species.
Van Erdman pointed our how 100 sharks harvested each day can have a massive impact on the potential tens of thousands of shark that come to Bali to breed the next generation of sharks.
The CI researcher contends that sharks have a much higher value as a sustainable object of tourism attraction that far outweighs amy commercial value obtained from killing the fish for their edible fins. Using the example of turtles to make his point, Van Erdman said how a turtle is estimated to have a “tourism” attraction value of US$179,000 during its lifetime, but if caught, slaughtered and sold will only fetch US$274 from the transaction.
Tourists can help preserve the shark population, seen as critical to the ocean’s food chain, by urging restaurants that sell sharks fins to seek other sources of income, and refusing to patronize such business if over time they continue to sell sharks fin.
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