Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Campana Sulks...

Canadian Marine Biologist Steve Campana is in a little bit of a tiz because grocery chain Loblaws has decided to drop shark from its selling list as well as Orange Roughy, Skate and Sea Bass.

Campana is concerned that he will not be able to source sharks on which to conduct his research, which has so far yielded the information that Porbeagles migrate to the Sargasso Sea to pup.

Canada is one of the only countries to adopt a 'sustainable' shark fishery, and Campana is adamant that research benefits from this small allowable catch are justifiable.

However, his comments have received criticism from the conservation community saying that no justification exists for taking specimens from such a recently recovering population. If the porbeagles are known to migrate, then they are still at risk from foreign fleets in international waters, but Campana argues that such information would not be forthcoming without his reasearch.

Which ever way you look at it, the news that any supermarket is dropping shark from its displays has to be good, but the fact that a scientist supposedly promoting their conservation is damning that decision is somewhat concerning. Science provides valuable tools with which to carve out a conservation arguement, but, in some cases, science can go too far. Tag the last remaining specimen, harry it, disturb it, infiltrate its life so that it will not breed, so that it does become the last one on earth? If there were ten dodos left alive, would we be better off studying them, watching them die, or putting a fence 30 miles around them and letting them get on with it, in the hope that they would breed?

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