Thursday, October 4, 2007

Did you know humans kill more than 100 million sharks globally each year? It's true. Current management methods leave many shark populations at risk. The National Marine Fisheries Service has cooked up a package of proposals which could provide vital protection for sharks, but we need your help to ensure some of the most critical proposals are adopted.

>>Take Action: Send your comments to the National Marine Fisheries Service today!

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One key component of this package is ending overfishing and rebuilding overfished populations of sandbar, dusky, and porbeagle sharks in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, where their numbers have fallen drastically due largely to commercial fishing activity.

A second key proposal would require that sharks be landed with their fins intact. Shark fins are a highly priced commodity so to maximize their profits, fishing fleets in most countries sever the fins and cast the defenseless and dying sharks back into the ocean to make room for more fins. Currently in the U.S., shark fins and bodies must be landed in a specified ratio to prevent dumping bodies at sea but using this sort of a finning ban causes enforcement and data collection problems.

Sharks are at the top of the ocean food chain. They help control other marine species populations and maintain order in the underwater realm. It's time to conserve and protect shark species, before we cause any further damage to the ocean ecosystem.

The National Marine Fisheries Service is accepting comments on their shark proposal until October 10, 2007 so spend a minute and send in your comments today. Let's take a stand for sharks now -- before it's too late.

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