Today Save Our Sharks launches a petition calling for better protection of sharks in Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, St. Eustatius, and St. Maarten. On a global scale, sharks are threatened by overfishing and destruction of their habitat. By signing the petition, people can show their support for shark conservation and encourage the minister to protect them. The petition asks for strengthening of legal instruments, implementation of concrete protective measures in all waters, a ban on shark finning on Saba, St. Eustatius, Aruba, and Curacao, and improved international coordination with regard to sharks in the wider Caribbean.
Tadzio Bervoets, in charge of the Save our Sharks project: “Sharks are not frightening or dangerous, and they play an essential role as predators to keep the sea healthy. Unfortunately, 25% of all shark species are threatened with extinction worldwide. We now ask all inhabitants of the Kingdom to speak up for protection of these extraordinary animals.
Shark populations around the Dutch Caribbean islands have shown declines, and we need these top predators to maintain the health of the reef and fish stocks around the island. They also add direct economic interest to the tourism industry through the dive-tourists they attract.”
During Dutch Caribbean Shark Week (June 18 to 26) the petition will be presented to the relevant policy makers. This week will see a range of activities, organized in both the Netherlands and on all six islands, focusing on sharks and their importance to the well-being of our oceans and seas.