Shark Finning in Hawaii

Shark Finning in Hawaii - Shark Finning in Hawaii September...

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Shark Finning in Hawaii September 1998 Release from: San Diego Union Tribune HONOLULU -- The boats arrive at the local dock with shark fins hanging from the rigging like laundry on a clothesline. Before the boat is even tied up, crewmen are selling the fins to men clutching six-packs of beer and handfuls of cash. Lately, they've been getting up to $32 a pound. Some fins wind up in local markets in a refrigerated case, sold to make soup -- a thousand-year-old Asian delicacy. Others are shipped straight to Asia, where prices have hit $256 for a pound of dried and processed fin. In Hawaii, where the economy lags behind much of the nation, $30 million worth of shark fins changes hands annually at the docks, usually in cash-only transactions. Traditionally, the money goes to the crew, not the boat owner. "Hawaii seems to be `Fin Central,' " said Howard Deese, a marine programs specialist with the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. "In this economy, everything helps." The leftovers from this industry are heating up federal discussions over finning. What the arriving boats leave behind in the waters off Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands are the carcasses of hundreds of thousands of finned sharks, mostly blues that are incidentally caught by fishermen chasing swordfish and tuna. Because the markets for shark meat, skin and cartilage are small, fishermen simply throw the body overboard -- sometimes still alive -- after they cut off its fins. That finless shark is eaten by another, bleeds to death or drowns. Many conservation groups consider that cruel, wasteful and contradictory to American fisheries policy in most other oceans of the world. Shark finning is banned in federal waters of the Atlantic Ocean -- where sharks have been overfished -- and is opposed by U.S. representatives to international fisheries organizations. Yet it's still allowed in the Pacific. "This is a glaring problem that's inconsistent with U.S. policy everywhere on sharks," said Sonja Fordham, a shark specialist with the Center for Marine Conservation in Washington. "There are a million environmental groups ready to pounce on this." That has the attention of federal fisheries managers in the Western Pacific. Even though some
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2011 for the course OCN 201 taught by Professor Decarlo,e during the Summer '08 term at University of Hawaii, Manoa.

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Shark Finning in Hawaii - Shark Finning in Hawaii September...

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