An online petition has been released to urge the stopping of a shark fishing tournament scheduled for this weekend in Jupiter, Florida.
The Change.org petition that was started by environmental advocacy organization OneProtest is calling on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as well as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to stop the tournament:
“WarBird Tournaments LLC, owned and operated by Jason Barquin, is hosting a shark-killing tournament in Jupiter, Florida. He is charging a $100 entry fee per boat.
“Upon learning about this event, our organization reached out to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). We sent documentation of shark fishers in a private Facebook group stating they would shoot as many sharks in the head as possible and only take the most significant shark carcasses back to weigh-in stations to win a prize for the largest fish caught. State law allows the legal ‘harvest’ of one shark per person and two sharks per boat. The FWC responded, stating they were aware of an advertised shark-fishing tournament and that fishing tournaments do not require approval by the FWC; however, they must comply with state and federal fishing regulations.
“It is appalling that the FWC and NOAA, two agencies charged with protecting sharks, allow fishing tournaments that promote an absolute disregard for life. This tournament is not about sustenance. It is about the thrill of the kill and fosters a lack of respect for sharks and their essential role in keeping our underwater ecosystems healthy and balanced. This lack of respect breeds poaching and other egregious acts. It also sends a message that it is okay to kill for ‘fun.’ Killing is not conservation.”
Ocean advocate and “Her Deepness” Dr. Sylvia Earle is also calling for the tournament’s cancellation, writing on Facebook:
“Horrific! Sharks are beautiful wildlife that keep the engine of the planet’s blue heart humming, and to kill them for sport is unfathomable.”
To sign the petition, go to change.org.