Conservation Through Legislation

Posted: December 20, 2011 in Shark News

So I’ve been giving this a lot of thought before actually blogging about it, since it is a rather touchy subject. But I have now decided I can no longer keep quiet about it.

One of the things that make mankind what it is, is the freedom of thought, and choice. Some people choose to do things that will have a positive outcome, others choose to do things out of greed, regardless of the result. And others either don’t care or are unaware of what effect their choices might have.

Now when relating this to shark conservation you have those that want finning stopped, you have those who are profiting from finning, and then you have those that feel it doesn’t affect them whether finning continues or not. I know it’s impossible to generalize like that, since there is a lot of gray area In between, but for the basis of this blog I won’t go into that. This however has made me realize something else.

All over the world, people are calling for laws to be implemented where sharks are concerned. And that is very noble, there is just one thing that bothers me though. Will “Laws” really protect Sharks? Because regardless of how many laws there are, if the government can’t (or chooses not to) enforce those laws, then the laws are worth less than the paper they are written on. And even if they do enforce them, and you have a court that is not sympathetic to the cause, then all that will happen is they will get the minimum punishment, and go right back to what they were doing all over again. And let us say that you have a system that treats those convicted of the crimes against Sharks very harshly, that still won’t stop them. Just look at the laws we have today. And still people choose to Drive whilst drunk, they still choose to molest children, as well as sell drugs, rape, assault, and murder. In fact, show me one person that has never broken any law ever written. That includes jay walking, driving over the speed limit, not wearing your safety belt, littering etc. So what is one more law going to do, except make it illegal? Those that are benefiting from exploiting sharks will continue doing it until they get caught, and then when they do get caught, someone else will just step up and take their place. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying laws are useless, because they are not. But laws are not the solution.

In my opinion (And this is just my opinion) what we need to do is to raise awareness, and to change the opinion of the vast majority of the people who don’t care. Because if people don’t buy shark products any longer then there just won’t be a market for it, and if there is no longer a market for it, then there is no longer any reason to exploit sharks. Now by raising awareness I don’t mean smothering people with a million e-mails, and spouting facts that no-one can prove. Because all that will do, is frustrate people to the point of insanity and beyond. I have spoken to many people about Sharks and their plight, and every single one of those people has taken up the fight for sharks.

This brings me onto another topic. Recently I have noticed that a lot of people are targeting certain individuals for their “involvement” in shark “exploitation”. Now excuse me for this, but I don’t think targeting individuals in the same way many non-ethical “Conservation” organizations have done in the past, will do our cause or our reputation as conservationists any good. There is a vast difference between sending a polite e-mail or comment to them requesting that they please take certain things into consideration which they may not have been aware of before and attacking or insulting them, which trust me, will not do anyone any good.

Remember, every single person has a reason for doing what they do, and not taking that into account is plain ignorance. A friendly request will go a lot further than an insult or a threat. We claim to be compassionate, well let’s not be hypocritical. I suggest we all stand for what we believe in, but not to lower ourselves to the level of becoming petty. I realize that I have probably upset a few people, but I hope that you will read this in the spirit that it was written.

All views and comments are welcome.

  1. Nicala says:

    Well done!

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