Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Australian Marine Conservation Society

Australian Marine Conservation Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting  the biodiverse ecology of the 3 Oceans which Australia borders. 

"Australia's oceans contain the richest, most diverse life on Earth. We have the third largest marine territory (behind the United States and France), and our continent borders three mighty oceans - the Pacific, Indian and Southern Ocean.

Such global significance brings a global responsibility. We have a privilege and a duty to manage our oceans wisely and with the future in mind. Our island nation has lost so much already, but in almost 50 years since our inception, AMCS has made great gains to preserve what we have and recover what we've lost."
           - AMCS

The AMCS has many projects currently targeting practices which put Australia's marine wildlife and their habitats at risk.  These projects range from endangered/threatened species recovery, to the promotion of sustainable seafood, combating whaling / shark hunting and cleaning up pollution.
One of the more devastating human practices on our marine wildlife is shark finning. Shark finning, in short, is when shark fishers hack off the fins of a shark (the valuable bits in the international trade) and throw the rest of the living shark back into the water where they die a horrible death. The practice of shark finning allows for the fishers to carry more of the valuable product, increasing profit margins and destroying more sharks.
"Sharks are in serious trouble in every part of our ocean planet. Scientists estimate that 73-100 million sharks are killed every year, primarily for their fins. And here in Australia, from the Great Barrier Reef to our cool southern seas, we're sending shark fins overseas by the tonne, to service the shameful international trade in shark fin.
The international trade in shark fins is widely believed to be responsible for causing the decline in so many shark populations around the world. Australia is complicit in driving our global shark populations closer to extinction by our role in the international shark fin trade.

Shark fin soup is traditionally served at formal occasions in Chinese culture to symbolise both the wealth of the host and respect for their guests. With an increasingly affluent Chinese middle class, the demand for shark fin soup is driving a 5% annual increase in the shark fin trade, putting additional pressure on a range of shark species, many of which are already considered endangered.
Live shark finning, the practice of cutting the fins from live sharks and dumping the body, is illegal in all jurisdictions in Australia, thanks largely to AMCS campaigning. However, the legislation differs between various states, the Territory and the Commonwealth; in Commonwealth, NSW and Victorian waters, all sharks caught must be brought back to port (‘landed’) with their fins attached to their bodies. In Tasmanian, Western Australian, Northern Territory and Queensland waters however, fishers can cut the fins off at sea, as long as they bring back a ratio of shark fins to shark meat."
     - AMCS

Support the Australian Marine Conservation Society and help promote education about the living oceans which surround and sustain us in Australia!

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