Florida sharks worth more alive than dead, study finds

A live shark swimming through Florida’s waters is about 200 times more valuable than a dead shark, a new study has found.

The study, commissioned by the nonprofit Oceana in its bid to end the gruesome shark fin trade, found that divers hoping to see sharks produced more than $221 million in revenue for the state in 2016 and helped supply over 3,700 jobs. That compared to just over $1 million generated by the buying and selling of shark fins nationwide.

The study, Oceana said, is the first of its kind in the U.S. to try to calculate what conservationists have long argued about many imperiled fish: they’re worth far less on a plate than they are in the water.

Sharks are in trouble and one of the reasons they are in trouble is because of the demands for their fins.

Oceana campaign Director Lora Snyder

Sharks are in trouble and one of the reasons they are in trouble is because of the demands for their fins,” said Oceana’s campaign director, Lora Snyder.

Oceana is hoping the findings help persuade lawmakers to pass a nationwide ban on buying and selling shark fins, a trade centered in Asia but executed globally and blamed, along with longline fishing and overfishing, with driving down shark populations. Earlier this month, California Republican Rep. Ed Royce, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, reintroduced a ban that has so far gained 35 bipartisan signatures, Snyder said.

The U.S. bans shark finning, the process of chopping the fins off sharks and tossing them overboard, still alive, to sink and suffocate or get eaten by predators. Only 11 states prohibit importing and selling fins.

11

The number of states that currently ban the buying and selling of shark fins

“It’s important to know, once a fin has entered the market, did it come from an endangered shark or was that fin legally finned and got in the U.S.?” Snyder said. “Once it’s here, there’s really no way to know.”

To come up with the numbers, wildlife consultant Tony Fedler contacted 365 dive operators across the state and got responses from 237. Nearly all were small businesses. Only 42 qualified as large, with clients that included cruise ships or other tours. Fedler found that nearly one third of divers look for outings where they’ll likely spot sharks and one in five specifically look for encounters with sharks.

Fedler noted an obvious weakness in his study: the data was voluntarily supplied by dive operators who support shark conservation. However, he also pointed out that the total number of dive days he used to calculate his numbers is well below estimates by the Diving Equipment & Marketing Association, making his count more conservative. He also used expense data from a 2001 study which likely low-balled how much divers spend.

Still, dollars from dives clearly outpaces any revenue generated by the fin trade, Snyder said.

“As long as sharks remain alive in the ocean,” she said, “divers and their dollars will continue to support local economies.”

 

Man and Woman buy bigger boat and new underwear after shark attack

Have you ever been cage diving with Great White sharks?  Sounds crazy doesn’t it?!  Well, there are dive operators around the globe that specialize in showing you JAWS up close and personal and in 3D.  One such operator is SharkQuests.com and for only $86 USD, they’ll do their best to show you a Great White shark and a great time.  Talk about a rush!  Shark dives are the new roller coaster rides!

 

Why choose them to take you cage diving?  Here’s why:

  • No diving certification or previous experience required.
  • We offer the option of air supply into cage for qualified divers during the winter season.
  • Groups are limited to no more than 18 so that we can maximize your diving time.
  • A safety record spanning more than 15 years.
  • The option to be picked up and dropped off from any address in the Cape Town area.
  • Find a better price? We promise to match any written offer that you bring to us before booking.
  • Most importantly, we are so confident that you will see Great Whites that should there be no sightings, we will give you a voucher to come back and try again, free of charge.

For more information on this dive operator, hit up their website at:

http://www.sharkquests.com/one-day-trips/shark-alley-express

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