Controversy In Colombia For A Decree That Allows Shark Hunting To Market Their Fins

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The Ministry of Agriculture issued a resolution that fixes the amounts guaranteed for the fishing of these animals, which aroused the outrage of environmental sectors of the country.

The Colombian government authorized shark hunting to market its fins, something that aroused the outrage of environmentalist and animalistic sectors in the country, as well as a part of the citizens that rejected the decision.

Through resolution 350 of 2019 of the Ministry of Agriculture, which was signed last Friday, October 25, the global quotas for fishing of different species were established for 2020. The document specifies that next year it would be allowed to fish 125 tons of shark and the commercialization of 5.2 tons of fins of the species Carcharhinus Falciformis, known as the silky shark.

In addition, the resolution allows another 350 tons of shark to be fished in the Pacific Sea and 9.9 tons of the Alopias Pelagicus, Alopias Supercilliosus and Sphyrna Corona species collected.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the resolution does not represent anything atypical compared to the past regulations of fishing for these species in Colombia, highlights that since 2015 the same amount has been established, a total of 500 tons, as a fishing stop for sharks in the Colombian territorial seas.

“This is a quota related to shark fishing that is allowed only for artisanal fishing; especially for bycatch catches, which is the one that occurs by accident within their traditional fishing. There are 65 thousand marine artisanal fishermen, regardless of the continental ones, those in the country, ”said Agriculture Minister Andrés Valencia in a statement.

The news of the resolution starts from specifying that the quantities allowed are exclusively for artisanal fishing, in addition, the values ​​assigned in the quotas of the fins must be left out of the shark fishing cap. That is to say, “these animals must arrive with the fins to port”.

According to the minister, the measure is designed to put a stop to the practice of “flutter” in which fishermen only extract the fin of the animal and return it to the sea, thus causing an affectation to the species.

However, the controversy surrounding the resolution revolves around another of its new points, the inclusion among shark species endorsed for fishing and commercialization of its fins, the fox shark or Alopias superciliosus, which is among the species threatened in its survival from the list of the Convention on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora (CITES).

Appendix II of CITES, where the fox shark appears, includes “species not necessarily threatened with extinction, but in which trade must be controlled to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival.”

This has led to criticism from Colombian environmentalists and animalists such as Sandra Bessudo, marine biologist and director of the Malpelo Foundation.

Bessudo argues that for these threatened species in their survival there should be no quotas allowed and in general the limits established for the fishing and commercialization of sharks and their fins are exaggerated.

“In addition, I am concerned that this is standing so that sharks are caught under the modality of artisanal fishing that, clearly, by volume, is not artisanal. We must strengthen control and vigilance, ”he said in statements to El Espectador.

For its part, the MarViva Foundation, which works for the sustainable use of maritime resources, issued a statement rejecting the decision of the Ministry of Agriculture and warns that it can have serious consequences on the natural ecosystems of these animals.

“This resolution encourages the fishing of endangered species of sharks and rays; species considered of high importance for the health of marine ecosystems and therefore for the food security of coastal communities,” they said.

They emphasized that it is not only the fox shark, but that there are other species that are threatened and that the resolution supports their fishing, such as Sphyrna lewini, Sphyrna mokarran, Sphyrna zygaena, Carcharhinus falciformis and Alopias pelagicus. In addition, they pointed out that there are very generic categories within the other animals that are allowed to market and fish, such as: tuna, Jaiba, Bone Fish, Caribbean Lobster, etc. This, according to the foundation, ignores the differences in the populations and the effects that the extraction of the different species included in each generic category could have.

Controversy In Colombia For A Decree That Allows Shark Hunting To Market Its Fins

“These deficiencies in the Resolution are even more worrisome, in light of the weak control exercised in fisheries catches and discharges in our country. The MarViva Foundation recommends repealing this resolution until there is no scientific information on the populations that allow the establishment of rigorous fishing quotas that effectively promote sustainable fishing and the conservation of marine and coastal resources. The MarViva Foundation calls on other institutions that have the obligation to ensure the conservation of fishery resources so that they speak on this issue, ”they conclude.

Controversy In Colombia For A Decree That Allows Shark Hunting To Market Its Fins

 

Source: InfoBae