Shifting Baselines

Shark Scandal in Ecuador

The Galapagos Marine Reserve has trouble with illegal shark finning and a couple solutions–namely decent laws and several individuals fighting the daily Galapagos grind to keep those laws intact and sometimes enforced. One of these individuals is Sean O’Hearn of Sea Shepherd International. And he was just thrown in jail for his efforts.

In 2000, Sean came to Galapagos onbaord a Sea Shepherd boat and decided not to leave. He had grown up in Puerto Rico and settled snuggly into the island life of Galapagos with his perfect Spanish and easy attitude. He was quickly nicknamed ‘leche en funda’ (milk in a bag) because of his white skin and less than upright posture (I know such details because I volunteered with Sean in 2001–we’re the gringos in the photo). Sean quickly gained stature in marine conservation and was pivotal in the capture and arrest of several illegal shark poachers (my first day with Sean in Galapagos included the incineration of 1044 illegally caught shark fins).

In 2006, after a few years of absence from the islands, Sean returned to Galapagos and revitalized the Sea Shepherd anti-shark poaching campaign. In June, Sean and the Ecuadorian National Police uncovered a ring of shark fin traders that led to the confiscation of nearly 20,000 shark fins and four arrests.

But the Ecuadorian shark scandal doesn’t stop there. Last week, the law that prohibited the export of shark fins from Ecuador was overturned. On Friday, Sean was working with the police in Manta, the shark finning capital of Ecuador when he was arrested. On August 4th, minutes before he was about to be illegally exported (having married a ‘Galapeguena’, Sean is legal resident of Ecuador and the Galapagos), the President freed him.

Though liberated, Sean must be disconcerted by the death threats he has recently received. For the sharks, death isn’t merely a threat.

i-05897494ccc53ce7c2d81c4dc030b154-mantasharkfins.jpg
Sharks finned and on the beach of Manta–the center of Ecuador’s shark mafia. I visited Manta in May 2006, when the export of fins was illegal but clearly still taking place.

Comments

  1. #1 hikayeler
    February 8, 2009

    Yes Thats is a good idea. Thanks good

  2. #2 network marketing
    March 25, 2009

    Thank good news

  3. #3 film izle
    August 10, 2010

    Yum. Tilapia. Local farmers grow it in ponds near the rice paddies. We eat it a couple times a week.(we live in rural Luzon, Philippines).

    And one of our friends has a fingerling hatchery in the next provence.Farmers buy fingerlings, place them in the pond, and have a good cheap source of protein.

  4. #4 notebook tamiri
    November 3, 2010

    um. Tilapia. Local farmers grow it in ponds near the rice paddies. We eat it a couple times a week.(we live in rural Luzon, Philippines).

    And one of our friends has a fingerling hatchery in the next provence.Farmers buy fingerlings, place them in the pond, and have a good cheap source of protein.

  5. #5 islam
    November 30, 2010

    Local farmers grow it in ponds near the rice paddies. We eat it a couple times a week.(we live in rural Luzon, Philippines).

    And one of our friends has a fingerling hatchery in the next provence.Farmers buy fingerlings, place them in the pond, and have a good cheap source of protein.

  6. #6 seo uzmanı
    November 30, 2010

    Tilapia. Local farmers grow it in ponds near the rice paddies. We eat it a couple times a week.(we live in rural Luzon, Philippines).

    And one of our friends has a fingerling hatchery in the next provence.Farmers buy fingerlings, place them in the pond, and have a good cheap source of protein.

  7. #7 Bill Kruczynski
    July 21, 2011

    I would like to use your photograph in a book in preparation entitled “Tropical Connections: South Florida’s Marine Environment.” A portion of that book is entitled “Sharks are particularly vulnerable to overfishing.”
    If granted permission, please supply me with the photo credit that would be placed next to the photo and in the list of contributors to the book.
    Thank you for your consideration of this request.
    Bill Kruczynski