Monday, October 31, 2011

Protected White Sharks Targeted in S.A?

Riaan Engelbrecht has been a very busy South African white shark fishing machine going back to 2009.

He's also the owner of South Africa's Extreme Fishing.

Targeting white sharks in South Africa his Facebook site reads like a one man ecological disaster for animals that are supposed to be protected in his home waters.

As the owner of Extreme Fishing you might think that Riaan is aware of the protected status of white sharks. Perhaps he is, or perhaps the four images he recently posted of different white sharks stranded on local beaches with his smiling face are just a fluke, an accident, and not a targeted trophy fishery.

We have been here before, last month, when the conservation world became outraged at the sight of another white shark harvested by trophy seeking locals with little regard to the health and welfare of the animals they sought.

It's officially a problem when you discover a guy like Riaan Engelbrecht who posts four white sharks with the title "Tight Lines" on his Facebook site with no media backlash, no government intervention, and no conservation push back.

We said it last month when the first locally white shark was caught and photographed, a rally call for local shark conservationists.

Here is our post again and perhaps this time these images can motivate those who claim to love sharks into action:

Wolfgang Leander, the wizened sage of the shark conservation movement, has been raising awareness about the tragic S.A shark disappearing act for several years now and yet it still happens, and now we have the visual proof to back his many blog posts up.

So before one more so called shark conservationist in S.A stands up to cry about sharks, before we are subjected to another pretty You Tube video from S.A featuring a bimbette riding the fin of a now dead and poached Tiger shark, let's get real about shark conservation.

It starts with this guy and a call for prosecution, the ensuing media madness, and a follow through to see that it is done. This cannot stand.

We understand that S.A is a world away from conservation norms, but to those who would claim that they are the leaders of any conservation movement with sharks in S.A we say "show us what you got".

It's your backyard and this guy just took a great big dump in it.

For these many white sharks at least - time has run out.

Update: The South African Shark Conservancy is on the case and looks like they know a range of illegal fishermen, fishing groups and websites promoting illegal white shark catches in South Africa. Their Facebook site has all the details, if you can support or help their ongoing investigations in any way please contact them it is time to put an end to trophy white shark fishing in S.A and it starts with some media pressure.

I am not part of the problem, proud to be 3,553,227,618!

With some relief today I discovered that I am number 3,553,227,618.

In case you're wondering what your number is you can check here. 

"The Number" is how many people were estimated to be on the planet when you arrived. 

Your date of birth.

For me I just squeaked under the estimated range where humans, with all of our glorious machines, dependency on oil, modern agriculture and commercial fishing practices were in balance with the planet. 

Any damage 3 plus billion people did was absorbed by our planets great biomes. 

Our oceans could sustain us, there was enough wildlife to go around, habitat could rebuild.

Hooray for me.

That means all my fellow 1968 brethren are in a secure place knowing that the ecological problems the planet faces now at 7 billion people are not our problem. 

We're not the ones wrecking the planet people.

Gorillas vanishing in the Goma? Not our problem.

Bluefin tuna going extinct? Not our problem.

Amazon rainforest's being burned? N.O.P 

These are issues for "the others," anyone born after 1968 who have been using up our precious resources like they had something to prove. You know, the roughly 3.5 billion extra mouths, the extra users of oil, those damn Bluefin tuna eating nouveau riche types who have been cramping our style since 1969.

The great problems of our planet can be squarely placed on the wide, corpulent, and resource hogging shoulders of those extra 3.5 billion who are wrecking the place with abandon. 

How the hell did they get here anyway? I didn't invite them.

In 42 years 3.5 billion others snuck under cover of darkness onto our planet. 

Where's the fence? I mean shouldn't we have erected some sort of fence?

The only good news here is that I don't have to lift a finger to right the ecological wrongs the other 3.5 billion of us are perpetrating on this fine planet of ours. I was born with a "planet bank" the unwritten understanding that this planet would always provide for me no matter what my footprint was on it.

All of that has changed and will change again as we pass 7 billion and in a few years reach 9. 

My suggestion? 

A planetary pyramid scheme. "The others," those 3.5 billion who came after me, can get busy with the global solutions to restoring the planet back, and you better save my Bluefin dammit because that's one tasty fish.

For labor? They can tap the next 2 billion of us who are scheduled to arrive by 2040, and what a labor force, 2 extra billion workers who can move mountains or replace them as needs be.

In summation I am proud to be 3,553,227,618, or lucky, as the numbers go because I will be dead and gone by the time 10 billion of us discover that there really are no resources left, and the planet has gone about as far as it can to provide for a population that should have stopped in 1968.

It's a big deal people, and this month it just got bigger.

More here from Da Shark.

Patric Douglas CEO