As I've been writing so much about water and swimming these last few months I felt it would be okay to post this letter from the AMCS (Australian Marine ConservationSociety) seeking support for their campaign to protect those wonderful super predators of the deep - SHARKS. The same sharks who make swimming in our oceans just that little bit more of an adrenelin rush and make us really feel alive each time we emerge from their home territory unscathed. There were quite a few sharks cruising along the beaches of stradbroke island over christmas.
the web address for this petition is:
The AMCS Letter:
Time is running out to save our World Heritage Sharks, and this is our last chance in the forseeable future. Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett, MP must receive your signatures by 5pm (this) Friday 30th January, 2009. It's up to Minister Garrett, MP to save our World Heritage Sharks.
Despite shark populations collapsing around the globe, our very own governments are entrenching shark fisheries in our World Heritage Great Barrier Reef. Shark fishing is unsustainable because sharks are slow growing, have few offspring and are long lived. This means they are extremely vulnerable to fishing impacts. Having lived on the planet for 450 million years and being apex predators of the ocean, the consequences of their removal may be devastating for the planet.
Last year, over 6000 Ocean Activists wrote to Federal Environment Minister, Peter Garrett MP, and Queensland Fisheries Minister, Tim Mulherin MP, calling on them to protect Australia's World Heritage sharks.
We showed the government that people want our World Heritage sharks protected and not killed to provide cheap local seafood and fins to service the international trade in shark fin.
Your letters convinced the Queensland Government to make the following commitments to sharks in 2009. In summary the government will:
1. Reduce shark deaths by 300t by mid 2009, a reduction from 900t to around 600t;2. Introduce a bag limit of 1 shark per person (in possession limit) for recreational fishers. Previously there was no bag limit;3. Declare several threatened sawshark, speartooth and reef shark species as 'no take'.
While this is some progress, it does not deliver a government commitment to phase out shark fishing on the Great Barrier Reef completely and won't stop 600t of sharks (over 70 000 sharks) being killed this year in Queensland. It is appalling that Australia contributes to the global decline of shark populations.
Minister Peter Garrett MP, is the politician who has the ultimate say on this burning issue and will make his final decision in early February.
That gives us a brief window of time to remind Minister Garrett of just how many people want our World Heritage sharks saved. Please tell your friends. Please tell your family. Forward this email on to as many people as possible. We can turn this around. Signatures are due by 5pm Friday 30th January, 2009. Our oceans need you to sign and submit the attached letter to Minister Garrett and get your family and friends to do so as well. We must show him that the people expect our Minister for the Environment to make a stand and protect our World Heritage Sharks.
Our Sharks are Precious