A new green initiative is afoot to save sharks. More and more marinas close harbour for the landing of dead sharks and call themselves ‘Shark-Free Marinas’. A shark-friendly marina discourages the recreational killing of sharks and can register to officially become shark friendly.
Under the Shark-Free Marina Initiative, a marina registers, at no cost, to become shark-free or shark-friendly. A shark-free marina does not allow dead sharks to be landed on its docks. Members receive signs stating their shark-free or shark-friendly status, free advertising on the initiative’s website and educational literature.
The story of the Shark-Free Marina Initiative began in 2008, when Australian marine biologist and TV personality Luke Tipple was in the Bahamas. He witnessed an American woman bring in a dead pregnant tiger shark that she caught. They strung it up at a local marina, cut its guts open, and all these babies fell out. They took pictures and threw the shark in the trash. It was a total waste of an animal that could have contributed to the tiger shark population. Appalled by the waste, Tipple had an epiphany: What if the marina had a policy that dead sharks could not be landed there?
Without a place to show off the dead shark, the fisherman might have released it alive. That’s the idea behind the initiative, which is organized by the Humane Society of the United States, the Pegasus Foundation and the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation.
As of last friday, 113 marinas and businesses from eight countries had become members, including 78 in the United States and 64 in Florida.
More information: http://www.sharkfreemarinas.com/