The disturbing discovery by a Phuket News reader of the selling of endangered hammerhead sharks in Kata market has been exasperated by the shocking realisation that the practice is not ‘technically’ illegal.
Gwyn Mills, CEO of Pattaya-based environmental organisation Dive Tribe, explained that the laws in Thailand regarding fishing practices are murky at best.
“It largely depends on where they’ve been caught... There are harsher penalties if they’ve been caught in a National Park as opposed to open waters for example.”
It is now a crime to kill tiger and hammerhead sharks in the waters off Florida. In a unanimous vote following two years of spirited public hearings, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to protect the tiger shark and three species of hammerhead from recreational and commercial anglers.
"Sometimes the appropriate measures of conservation are the problems we avoid, not the problems we have to fix," said Commissioner Brian Yablonski.
We are emptying the ocean of sharks. As a diver and a global citizen acting locally, you can play a critical role in saving sharks. Here’s why your actions to protect sharks are so important:
Nearly one out of five shark species is classified by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) as Threatened with extinction. That doesn’t even include hundreds of species (almost half of all sharks) whose population status cannot be assessed because of lack of information. Scientists warn that, in actuality, a third of sharks might already be threatened.