August 24, 2009
Fishpond USA Joins The HSUS in Urging an End to Downeast Maine Shark Tournament
As shark populations face serious threats from overfishing along the East Coast, The Humane Society of the United States has been joined by Fishpond USA in urging an end to the Downeast Maine Shark Tournament. The event is scheduled for August 28 and 29 in Saco, Maine.
"Shark tournaments are a disgrace to the environment and to the community. Saco should stop playing host to this kind of brutality," said John Land Le Coq, co-founder of Fishpond USA. Fishpond USA is a major fishing equipment and outdoor manufacturing company.
"The Humane Society of the United States applauds Fishpond USA for recognizing the serious threats to shark populations worldwide and supporting the campaign to end shark tournaments," said John W. Grandy, Ph.D., The HSUS' senior vice president for wildlife and habitat protection. "It's time to end the Downeast Maine Shark Tournament, and other events like it that encourage the killing of these apex predators already imperiled by overfishing and finning."
Sharks caught by fishermen in tournaments suffer greatly. "Keeper" animals brought back to shore are hung and weighed, sometimes while still barely alive. The animals are then dismembered in front of crowds that frequently include children. Nothing could be less educational or more degrading to sharks and shark conservation than the cheers and jeers that greet the display and awarding of prize money for the biggest dead shark.
- The shark species caught in the Downeast Maine tournament have ranges that extend along the East Coast into Canada, and as far away as Europe.
- According to a 2008 study by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, thresher, mako and porbeagle sharks, which are frequent targets of tournaments, are threatened with worldwide extinction and blue sharks have lost up to 70 percent of their worldwide population.
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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animalsthrough advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.