Event Title

Shark: An Investigation of Management Measures in Light of Media Impacts and Culture

Presenter Information

Alexa Williams, Colby CollegeFollow

Location

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Start Date

30-4-2015 2:00 PM

End Date

30-4-2015 3:55 PM

Project Type

Poster

Description

Sharks are currently under stress worldwide. They are exploited for their fins, but they are not valued as a species. My research project investigates the impacts that global shark finning has on the species, and how media, culture, and lack of effective legislation exacerbate this issue. This report focuses mainly on species-specific extinction rates since the early 20th century, but records of their exploitation date back to the Han Dynasty in China (206 BC-220 AD). The shark fin soup industry in Asian culture has only recently begun demanding more fins from finning industries due to the increased middle class sector. The Chinese government did not allow class identifiers until the boom in wealth, so shark fin soup was banned because it would segregate different populations from each other. Shark fin soup has recently made a strong comeback in most Asian countries and it has even impacted the United States' involvement in the industry. For instance, California attempted to ban finning practices in 2011, but there was a strong push back from restaurants due to potential economic losses, along with resistance from Asian cultures because they viewed it as an insult to their culture. There are also bycatch impacts, and these are mainly dependent on the type of gear used in fishing practices. Bycatch is the capture of a species that is not specifically being targeted. Some shark species have been lost before they can be scientifically named as a new species, and the majority of currently recorded sharks have experienced a 75% decline over the past 20 years due to over-exploitation and bycatch incidences. Sharks also have a low reproduction rate, so if we are not careful with our legislation for the finning industry, we could lose sharks entirely.

Faculty Sponsor

Jim Fleming

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. Science, Technology and Society Program

CLAS Field of Study

Interdisciplinary Studies

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

927

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Apr 30th, 2:00 PM Apr 30th, 3:55 PM

Shark: An Investigation of Management Measures in Light of Media Impacts and Culture

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Sharks are currently under stress worldwide. They are exploited for their fins, but they are not valued as a species. My research project investigates the impacts that global shark finning has on the species, and how media, culture, and lack of effective legislation exacerbate this issue. This report focuses mainly on species-specific extinction rates since the early 20th century, but records of their exploitation date back to the Han Dynasty in China (206 BC-220 AD). The shark fin soup industry in Asian culture has only recently begun demanding more fins from finning industries due to the increased middle class sector. The Chinese government did not allow class identifiers until the boom in wealth, so shark fin soup was banned because it would segregate different populations from each other. Shark fin soup has recently made a strong comeback in most Asian countries and it has even impacted the United States' involvement in the industry. For instance, California attempted to ban finning practices in 2011, but there was a strong push back from restaurants due to potential economic losses, along with resistance from Asian cultures because they viewed it as an insult to their culture. There are also bycatch impacts, and these are mainly dependent on the type of gear used in fishing practices. Bycatch is the capture of a species that is not specifically being targeted. Some shark species have been lost before they can be scientifically named as a new species, and the majority of currently recorded sharks have experienced a 75% decline over the past 20 years due to over-exploitation and bycatch incidences. Sharks also have a low reproduction rate, so if we are not careful with our legislation for the finning industry, we could lose sharks entirely.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2015/program/183