By Robin Slater
An article appeared in The Guardian ”Shark massacre reported in Colombian waters“ today (October 19, 2011) stating that …
“Colombian environmental authorities have reported a huge shark massacre in the Malpelo wildlife sanctuary in Colombia’s Pacific waters, where as many as 2,000 hammerhead, Galápagos and whale sharks may have been slaughtered for their fins”.
Although this incident occurred in Colombian waters, the consequential effects are felt around the world, and in the Galapagos Islands in particular.
WHERE DOES THIS TYPE OF ACTIVITY OCCUR
Almost anywhere really, but more frequently in waters that have a high concentration of sharks. In addition, this activity seems more prolific in waters that are remote and have little (if any) authorities patrolling and monitoring.
In terms of the Galapagos, the Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR) is actually extremely large. Established in 1986 by the government of Ecuador, La Reserva Marina de Galapagos (RMG) is apparently the second largest marine reseve in the world (the largest is the Great Barrier Reef). The area between the islands of the Marine Reserve is 133,000 square kilometers of sea surface. It includes the inland waters of the Islands (50,100 km²) and the entire area within 40 nautical miles measured from the coasts of the outer Islands.
THE MOTIVATION BEHIND THIS ACTIVITY
Money! The shark fins are the only parts that are apparently commercial – the rest of the shark is thrown back into the seas. Apparent shark fin soup is a delicacy in Chinese cuisine and can fetch approximately USD $100 per bowl in a Hong Kong restaurant. More....