Shark Smart Marina Initiative
June 2012, TO THE INDUSTRY:
The national Shark Free Marina movement is sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States, Pew Environmental Group, and supported by Guy Harvey, and Doug Olander of Sport Fishing Magazine. The effort is to have marinas register as being “shark free” and not allowing any shark to be brought back to their marina docks. There are 157 marinas nationwide that have already signed on.
The Big Game Fishing Journal believes this is a back door tactic by the environmental community, supported by a few misguided and misinformed individuals to shutdown another game fish to recreational fishing. We also believe that Guy Harvey’s intentions are honorable, but his statement that recreational fishermen kill hundreds of thousands of sharks annually is completely untrue. The recreational shark fishermen are the most conservation-minded anglers in the nation. They constantly practice tag and release methods and only bring in mature, edible species of sharks for the dinner table.
The problem sharks are current experiencing today is not the fault of the American shark fishermen. We believe if the environmental community was sincere in helping the plight of the shark, they would turn their shark saving efforts and their money toward foreign countries and their commercial fleets. They are the true cause of the problem. We also believe that fishery management and the decision to shut down a game fish fishery should only be left to competent fishery managers, not anti-fishing environmental groups, or owners or dock masters of the nation’s marinas.
To nip this anti-fishing movement in the bud, the Big Game Fishing Journal will sponsor a Shark Smart Marina effort. This movement will let the public know that the marinas registered sign on to the ideology that only edible sharks should be landed and all others released. They also believe that common sense and good conservation tactics should always be used when fishing for sharks. This Shark Smart Marina effort is an ideology held by marinas that sign on. The movement is not being created to have marinas “dictate” and demand compliance. It is being created to let the public know that we as shark fishermen are not the ignorant, mindless killers of sharks as the environmental community would have them believe. We believe in killing only what we intend to eat, always practicing sound shark conservation procedures and always respect the game fish by limiting what you kill, using a dehooker and practicing proper release methods.
For those companies that support the ideology of the Shark Smart Marina effort, please contact us here at the Journal, 800 827 4468 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, supply us your company logo, and we will list your organization on our soon to be constructed Shark Smart Marina Facebook page, our web site and on a page in the Big Game Fishing Journal letting everyone know you support the Shark Smart Marina ethic. If you own or manage a marina, call us at 800 827 4468 and we will provide you a sign for your dock that reads:
SHARK SMART MARINA
We Are Pro-Fishing.
Captain Len Belcaro
Publisher Big Game Fishing Journal